Thursday, October 2, 2014

Devil's Due (2014)

Oh, good grief. Here's another "found footage" horror movie straight from the unimaginative minds of some lackluster film students that graduated from "Who Cares University" located in Copycat, California. Seriously though, hasn't this fad already run its course? No? Well, then let's get this review over with so I can mentally prepare for more of these handheld horrible horror movies.

A newly wed couple takes their honeymoon in Mexico, where they meet a psychic who proceeds to tell the new bride that she was "born from death" and "has no past" and has been eagerly awaited. Naturally, the couple get uncomfortable and leave in a hurry, after which they are picked up by an unassuming taxi driver. However, the couple are drugged and taken to what seems like a cult ritual of some kind, and I'm assuming we are to believe the devil impregnates the unconscious woman. The newly weds wake up none-the-wiser and go back home to America, where they learn she is now pregnant - go figure. All Hell breaks lose (pun intended, yeah, I know it was easy, but I did it) and the young woman develops telekinetic abilities, eats deer reproductive organs, and goes on a killing spree.

There are more underlying plot points and various hints at back story as to why this woman was chosen, but honestly, who cares? It's just another found footage movie. You already know exactly how this movie is going to play out before you even press PLAY. It follows all of the same cliche's as the rest of them. Loud noises to incite a jumpy atmosphere are abundant because we all know the microphones on home video cameras are extremely sensitive, which is why we can hear even the slightest adjustment made by the person holding the camera. We've known this since The Blair Witch Project, The Blair Witch Project 2, The Devil Inside, Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3, Paranormal Activity 4, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Cloverfield, V/H/S, V/H/S 2, do I really need to go on? I mean Jesus, is it really too much to expect originality these days?

If the movie had been entirely shot with a handheld camera, it would have been bad enough, but we also get some home security camera footage. Sound familiar? They try to excuse this blatant copy of the entire Paranormal Activity franchise by having the cult install the cameras in the couple's house without their knowledge. If that is the case, then who has this footage? How has this film been put together and who has accumulated all of this various footage and compiled it for us, the viewers, to watch? This is found footage, so who exactly "found" the footage? I mean, sometimes we are given shots from security cameras at two separate grocery stores for a few minutes at a time, is that found footage as well?

Of course, we run into the same issue that is found in each one of these terrible handheld camera movies - several scenes that make absolutely no sense for someone to be recording. When you're watching a movie like this, you have to put yourself in the mindset of "Okay, if I were in this position, would I really be recording this?" and more often than not, the answer is no. For instance, if you were with your wife at church and... We're going to stop there. Right there. You're with your wife at church. Would you be holding a camera recording the priest? No? Interesting. Let's continue. You're with your wife at church, and the priest starts staring intently at your wife. You look to your wife, eyes blatantly bloodshot, and look back to the priest. Would you continue recording, or would you put the camera down and try to make sure she is all right? What's that? You'd act like a human being and make sure your wife is all right? Very interesting. Let's continue. You're at church, the priest is staring a 100-yard stare directly at your wife, then the priest's nose begins to bleed and he has a stroke. Do I really need to ask? What would you do, record it all? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Nonsensical voyeurism and self-exhibitionism aside, if we are to believe this entire sequence of events was found footage collected from various grocery stores, security cameras, random teenagers' cameras, police cameras, and so forth, then why are there so many scenes that cut away right when something is about to happen? If this film has been put together to display a record of events that happens to this young couple (and random couple at the end that happens to be included in the same footage - don't ask) then why would the person collecting the footage deliberately leave out certain parts just as something is about to happen? Was this supposed to induce a sense of suspense and wonder? I mean, someone went through all of the trouble to gather this footage from several different sources. Do you really think someone that put forth that much effort would leave out the "best parts" of the footage on purpose? Does that sound right to you? Yeah, me neither. At least let me see what's going on.

I guess the world ends at the end. I have no idea. I mean, it shows the "antichrist" being cut from the mother's womb, so I guess Armageddon happens? There isn't any real resolution for the audience. In fact, unfortunately, it kind of leaves it open for a sequel at the end. They keep saying throughout the movie that several antichrists will be born and the world will end, so I guess we are to believe a bunch of little devil babies take over the world and kill everybody. After all, there's nothing to suggest otherwise. You would think with that $7 million budget (for a handheld camera movie) there would be enough left over to show a bunch of computer-generated devil babies laughing maniacally and setting things on fire at the end. I mean, it's not like it could hurt the film.

In closing, if you've seen one "found footage" movie, you've seen them all. This is nothing special. If you're frightened by loud noises and jumpy camera effects, then I guess this is right up your alley. As for me, I prefer something to actually make an effort to scare me. Loud noises and shaky cameras are not scary. I don't know how many times I have to say it before filmmakers start listening.

2 out of 4

For those supporting the found footage niche, you might enjoy it.

Cheers and goodnight.

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