If “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” showed us anything that the found footage genre is growing tired . Now only a few weeks later we the latest attempt to keep this genre going with the latest Eli Roth produced film “Devil’s Due”. I give the marketing team credit for advertising this film with it’s own set of condoms. Other than that this is yet another poor attempt to try to cash in on the genre that fails at everything it sets out to do while also not bringing anything new to the genre as a whole. Yet another example of why this genre needs a break.
“Devil’s Due” follows a newly wedded couple on their Honeymoon. After getting picked up by a cab driver and taken to an underground party, they wake up in their hotel room the morning after. The wife soon discovers that she is pregnant with a baby. Before long it becomes apparent that she is being possessed by an evil spirit and her, her baby, and everyone around her is in Jeopardy.
We’ve all seen this movie before, and all the tricks it has up its sleeve. It’s all been seen and perfected by films of much higher caliber films. Slowly the person, whom is always a women, gets taken over by an evil spirit then starts starring at nothing, then starts having angry outbursts, her personality changes, starts scratching in the floor or walls and so on and so forth. This movie does everything you expect by the book, by the instructions and doesn’t stray away from it at all. This seems to be a recurring theme here in January. I’ve said this before, you can be familiar and still be a good film. The recent “Jack Ryan” is proof of that. Then “Ride Along” is an example of how not to do it. Here is yet another example of how not to do it.
The worst part is how short the movie is, and yet how long it actually feels. Clocking in at 89 minutes, this film feels like a drag. This is partially due to the brutal lack of energy the film has. It’s just going through the motions. This feeling of a longer running time is not because of a film packed full of material but lack thereof material and no energy. It’s like monotone voiced person singing a song. It’s just a drag.
I nearly forgot to mention the horror aspects because well there really isn’t any. Looking for scares? Don’t venture here. There is no suspense, build up, scares, horror, frights or any other adjective that might mean terror or horror. The ending started to get interesting with stuff flying everywhere off the walls. It wasn’t brilliant but it was by far better than anything we had previously seen. It was an decent ending but then I started thinking what if this wasn’t a found footage?
This wouldn’t make the movie outstanding but it would make it a bit better. There are several scenes that have the potential to be really well made and interesting, the opposite of what this movie actually is. Many of those scenes needed some cuts to different angles, have some music build up, all of which you can’t have as a found footage movie. Found footage has certain strengths but it also has its drawbacks. Found footage is suppose to bring a different level of reality but in doing that you’re restricted to the video camera that is recording the action. There are certain scenes that are by its nature above what a found footage film can successful accomplish and would be better served going to the third person traditional perspective.
I’m usually the person defending characters doing some stupid stuff in movies because in the situation we don’t know how we would act. Plus the character is different then us to begin with and would make different choices then you and I would make. However I can only go so far and defend them. These characters are beyond doing a few stupid things, they are complete morons. The choices they choose to make are just insulting. Then when something bad happens I held no sympathy for the characters. They follow someone they don’t know into some weird underground party with people starring the whole way, who would do that? The actors who portrayed them did fine job. They were likeable if not occasionally trying a bit too hard to seem like normal everyday people, but likeable enough.
I did catch this movie late so my expectations were much lower than before, and still this couldn’t deliver on just about anything. The film wasn’t scary, and the found footage didn’t add anything to it in fact it hindered it. The characters were idiots and the story drags on. Of course they leave it open for a sequel but thankfully I don’t think this is going to get one.