Devil’s Due-attachment0

Devil’s Due

Movie Information

The Story: Shaky-cam, bargain basement take on the Rosemary's Baby Son o' Satan shtick. The Lowdown: Bottom-of-the-barrel horror shenanigans of the sort only January brings. Spare yourself.
Score:

Genre: Semi-Found-Footage Wobbly Horror
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett (V/H/S)
Starring: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano, Vanessa Ray
Rated: R

When I was told that space would be tight this week and that I should go short on reviews, I asked if I could review Devil’s Due by simply saying, “Trust me, folks, this thing sucks a moose.” I was told that was perhaps too short. So I find myself, like the book reviewer in Love & Human Remains (1993), pondering: “How do you say ‘it’s shit’ for 600 words?” Well, c’est merde does indeed sum it up . (How many words are we up to?) I will make some valiant attempt at explaining why it’s utter manure, though I can scarcely imagine why you would care — unless you’re a fertilizer salesman. Even then, this is not high-grade fertilizer.

What we have here is the sort-of found-footage version of Rosemary’s Baby — as reconfigured by lesser primates than Roman Polanski. The film is either so inept — or so contemptuous of its audience that it doesn’t bother to try — that it can’t even stick to its dumb found-footage flapdoodle. We are supposed to believe that it was cobbled together (by whom, I have no clue) from home video footage and security cameras. Banana oil. It’s just a jumble of shaky, wobbly images that couldn’t possibly be what they’re claimed to be. Granted, the whole found-footage premise is played out and pointless, but you could at least pretend this footage (including footage that’s stolen by the satanists part-way through the proceedings) could be real. Parts of it don’t even make sense.

The story involves a newlywed couple (Allison Miller, Zach Gilford) who (after what seems like hours of pointless setup) go on their honeymoon to some impoverished banana republic where they’re spirited off by Creepy Cab Driver (Roger Payano) to some subterranean night club. They get tight. Strange, barely glimpsed things happen. As it turns out, the couple took park in one of those rituals where the bride awakes only to learn (over the course of the picture) that she’s been knocked up by the devil. This is never good news, and the film sets out to prove this fact with seemingly purposeful tedium. Predictably, it all ends awash in blood and codswallop.

What can we take from this of any value? Not much. There’s a pretty funny scene where Demon Mom chows down on deer entrails and sends hapless meat-on-the-hoof teens flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately, this accounts for no more than three minutes of screen time. That leaves too much of the movie unaccounted for. Look, trust me — this thing sucks a moose. Rated R for language and some bloody images.

Playing at Carmike 10, Regal Biltmore Grande.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

38 thoughts on “Devil’s Due

  1. Jeremy Dylan

    I look forward to the sequel, DEVIL’S DUE DATE, when Zack Galifinakis joins the cast.

    • PieCatLady

      Ha,ha – hilarious! Hey, Ken! ‘Twas a blast to read your witty review! I was considering TV-rental of “Devil’s Due” – the preview intrigued me, as if an updated “Rosemary’s Baby” could be made. Now I doubt I’ll buy this film when it hits the Wal-Mart five-dollar bin.

      I’ve abhorred the “found footage” gimmick, since the boring and UNscary “Blair Witch” started the trend. Glad you see it for what it is – shaky, amateurish footage, as if they just couldn’t afford a professional film crew.

      I loved “Rosemary’s Baby” – saw the movie, then read the book. Polanski did a superb job of visualizing the story on film – scene for scene, dialogue included, right up until the silly “Andy Candy” ending of the book, which Polanski wisely omitted. The TV “re-imagining” of “Rosemary” makes me long for Polanski’s classic. Are there any really good horror films being made??

      • Ken Hanke

        It kind of depends on what kind of horror movie you’re looking for. If you are after something in the Satanic realm, possibly there aren’t any good ones of recent vintage. But — very much off the top of my head — the 21st century has given is THE OTHERS, THE RING, SEED OF CHUCKY (comedy horror), SILENT HILL, DEAD SILENCE, INSIDIOUS, CURSE OF CHUCKY (more serious than SEED), INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2, LORDS OF SALEM (which is Satanic, but very odd), BYZANTIUM, and very recently (still in theaters) ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE. None of these, however, are like ROSEMARY’S BABY — even Polanski’s other horror movies like TENANT and THE NINTH GATE (definitely Satanic horror) are like ROSEMARY’S BABY.

  2. Jeremy Dylan

    Didn’t Justin tell you? John Landgraf was very high on the show at the Winter TCA Tour yesterday.

    It’s a ‘Crossfire’ style debate program called FROM NORTH TO SOUTHER, featuring Justin and disgraced former National Security Council member Ollie North.

  3. Ken Hanke

    No. But if he had, he’d have explained who John Landgrab and what the Winter TCA Tour are.

  4. Ken Hanke

    What in this thread has been on-topic?

    Yes, I’ve seen it. It’s very odd, disturbing, and, like just about every documentary ever made, too long.

  5. Jeremy Dylan

    like just about every documentary ever made, too long.

    My one’s down to about eighty minutes now.

    Should I keep cutting?

  6. Edwin Arnaudin

    My college baseball fan documentary is 57 minutes. I keep meaning to edit it down to a less esoteric cut a.k.a. the Watchable for Sarah version.

  7. Ken Hanke

    You made a documentary about a college baseball fan? That is esoteric.

  8. Edwin Arnaudin

    There were more than one, but it’s still an esoteric film. My dad likes it, though, and he never went to a game or met most of the cast.

  9. Ken Hanke

    I love the way non-stop off-topic comments drive up the number of views a review gets.

  10. Jeremy Dylan

    I love the way non-stop off-topic comments drive up the number of views a review gets.

    Indeed.

  11. Jeremy Dylan

    Distressingly, the release here of INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS seems to have been pushed back due to its lack of Oscar nominations that can be used for a marketing push.

  12. Jeremy Dylan

    I wonder if we can get this more comments than the ATLAS SHRUGGED reviews.

  13. Jeremy Dylan

    I had an omlette. Three eggs, tomato, potato, olives and haloumi cheese.

  14. Ken Hanke

    I refuse to be a part of this shameless mockery…oh, I just added to it, didn’t I?

  15. bsummers

    Journalism in the 21st century just gets better & better, doesn’t it?

  16. Big Al

    “I look forward to the sequel, DEVIL’S DUE DATE, when Zack Galifinakis joins the cast.”

    Wrong. Rob Zombie will direct and Meryl Streep will star:

    “The Devil’s Due to Wear Prada’s Rejects!”

  17. Ken Hanke

    Journalism in the 21st century just gets better & better, doesn’t it?

    Citizen journalists in action.

  18. Jeremy Dylan

    Bacon & eggs for me, btw.

    I went off bacon before dinner. Not sure why. I occasionally have it when I’m on tour, but mainly I stick to vegies with eggs.

  19. Jeremy Dylan

    Oh, that reminds me of a joke I saw Christopher Hitchens tell once:

    There are these two onions who find themselves in the same heshan sack one day. Being of similar temperament and interest, they strike up a friendship, which turns romantic, and soon they are in love.

    After marriage and an appropriate time has passed, the girl onion starts to expand, and they are blessed with a baby cocktail onion.

    All is familial bliss until one morning, when the baby onion rolls out the door through the catflap and careens down the driveway, with no way to stop. A passing truck swerves to avoid him, but not in time, and its vast wheels flatten the cocktail onion to the road.

    An ambulance is called and the baby onion is rushed to the onion hospital, with mommy onion and daddy onion in tow.

    The surgeons operate furiously, with mommy onion crying, and making passers by cry, and daddy onion rolling up and down, wearing a groove in the hospital carpet.

    After hours of surgery, the onion surgeon steps out into the waiting room.

    “Well?” says the daddy onion.

    “How is he?” says the mommy onion.

    “Your son will live” says the surgeon onion. “But I’m afraid he’ll be a vegetable for the rest of his life”.

    • bsummers

      That’s a long joke about vegetables.

      Q: Whats the name of a movie about bacon?
      A: Hamlet

  20. Ken Hanke

    And I think you mean a Hessian sack. We call ‘em burlap bags over here.

    • bsummers

      I know a guy down by the river, if you want me to…

      Oh! You meant something else. Never mind.

  21. Jeremy Dylan

    From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.

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