First time director Clay Staub’s movie Devils Gate is a hard film to talk about seeing that any review is sure to give something away. With that in mind the best way to view it is without any prior knowledge as I did however now I have viewed it all I can say is I did not like it one bit.
The title relates to the small town of Devil’s Gate in North Dakota where the movie is set, the sort of place you always see in these films in the middle of nowhere with a close knit community and tons of secrets just under the seemingly civil surface.
Big city fish out of water FBI Special Agent Daria Francis (12 Monkeys and Suits Amanda Schull) arrives to find out what has happened to a local woman and her son who both disappeared without a trace some time ago.
Told to let it go by the Sherriff (Star Trek Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes) Daria decides she will take matters into her own hands and dragging along Deputy Conrad ‘Colt’ Salter (X-Men movies Iceman Shawn Ashmore) they head for the family farm to interview the husband and father Jackson Pritchard (the always watchable Milo Ventimiglia).
When they are met with unhinged hostility it only makes Daria convinced she has found her prime suspect but what they discover in the house is much more than they ever expected…Or is it, because frankly I could see what was coming a mile off and this was the huge problem with Devils Gate which is it thinks it is far more original than it actually is.
With a great cast, reasonable effects, solid design and a perfect horror movie location the blame lies solely at the feet of Staub as director and writer who alongside Peter Aperlo has put together a generic genre picture with zero to offer or up the ante on an already bulging bargain bin of films of a similar irksome ilk.
Recycling themes, images, ideas and characters any fright fan will be very familiar with Devils Gate is a waste of time to any fan of the genre who has been watching horror for a while leaving only the uninitiated to enjoy this and really they should be watching something else as well.