The Diabolical is a film that is best watched when you know nothing about it at all. With that in mind anyone who hasn’t seen this great horror movie should stop reading right now and go and watch it. I promise you you will enjoy it and enjoy it more without foreknowledge of any of its myriad of amazing elements.
For those who are desperate to know more however I will endeavor to avoid too many details to maximize the effect of Alistair Legrand’s sensational supernatural directorial debut feature which he co-wrote with Luke Harvis.
The story set up is simple enough as a mother and her two young children are terrorized in their house by strange spooky occurrences and distressing disfigured creatures who have been appearing relentlessly for a number of weeks.
With things getting increasingly dangerous Maddison (the always excellent Ali Larter) fears for her family especially her son Jacob (Max Rose) a boy battling his own inner demons since his father left who has already been suspended from school for fighting due to his terrible temper.
Having tried all the conventional and even some unconventional routes to rid themselves of the terrifying visitations it seems Maddison has run out of options but just as she thinks things can’t get any stranger, any scarier or any worse, they do.
Brilliantly scripted with a cracking story that moves along at a perfect pace just two steps ahead of the viewer The Diabolical combines many horror elements including Spielberg-ian family drama, 80’s horror stylings, modern day supernatural shockers and a whole lot more besides that it’s best not to talk about to save you the surprises.
Ali Larter crafts Maddison into an archetypal mother figure simultaneously tender, loving and caring while also hard as nails when it comes to protecting her brood and the children are well cast giving realistic and relatable performances whilst never roving into the overly cute zone.
For his first film Legrand does an impressive job combining solid and engaging storytelling with plenty of thrills and chills all amplified by some wonderful practical effects and make up that is set to unsettle and disturb.
By far one of the standout horror’s from this year’s FrightFest knowing nothing about the film before the screening I was blown away by it and Legrand is most definitely one to watch in the coming years having proven himself with this fantastic feature.
I would love to say more I really would but I don’t want to detract from anyone else’s viewing experience. If you really do want to know more why not check out my interview with Alistair Legrand HERE for an in-depth look at The Diabolical packed with plenty of spoilers.