Devil's Due (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/01/2014

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

Devil's Due would dearly love to be thought of as a sort of found footage update of Rosemary's Baby, but while it's generally well made and pulls off a couple of decent jumps, it's also riddled with plot holes, painfully derivative and lacking the requisite chills.

What's it all about?
Co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (part of the filmmaking quartet known as Radio Silence), Devil's Due is a found-footage horror film that opens with a battered and bruised Zach McCall (Zach Gilford) undergoing a police interview. We then flash back to footage of his wedding to Samantha (Allison Miller) and their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, where Sam is warned “They have been waiting,” during a creepy tarot reading, before the pair experience a mysterious, lost night where they both wake up the next morning with no memory of the what happened.

Shortly afterwards, Sam discovers she's pregnant and it isn't long before they start experiencing all manner of spooky goings-on, including Sam displaying superhuman strength when riled, craving raw meat despite being a vegetarian (out of a packet in the supermarket, a passing deer in the woods, she isn't fussy) and getting several strange bruises, not to mention her tendency to carve mysterious symbols into their floorboards at night. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they find themselves being constantly watched by shady figures who have planted a number of micro-cameras around their house.

The Good
Gilford and Miller are both fine as the leads, but they're somewhat hamstrung by a script that requires them to more or less ignore all the warning signs until it's too late – if, for example, you were the sort of person that filmed your every move and you'd had a night out where you couldn't remember anything THAT RESULTED IN GETTING PREGNANT, wouldn't you maybe check your video footage from said night?

That said, the film is well made and at least manages to keep its found footage conceit consistent, even if there's no over-arching sense of who exactly has found all this footage and pieced it together (it's not the police, since Zach is apparently unable to produce any of the material he has spent the entire film recording). In addition, the special effects are decent and the film does at least deliver the requisite number of cheap shock moments (dogs barking, things flying through the air, that sort of thing).

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that it's painfully derivative throughout, ensuring that there's nothing here that you haven't seen done better elsewhere – indeed, it's so similar to the Paranormal Activity franchise that they might have just as well named it Paranormal Activity 6 and had done with it. On top of that, the film lacks anything resembling actual chills or emotional impact, largely because the script tips its hand too early with regard to what's actually going on.

Worth seeing?
Despite some decent jump moments, Devil’s Due is a disappointing found footage horror that's let down by a derivative script.

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Content updated: 22/10/2014 00:56

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