Tedious, plodding and tasteless. Three words that I can confidently say sum up Adrián García Bogliano’s latest effort, Here Comes the Devil.
Whilst on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana, a married couple lose their children (who are exploring a near-by rocky hill) as they sleep off a bit of ‘parent time’ in the car, only for the children to re-appear the following morning without explanation.
Needless to say the children are not the same after their disappearance, seemingly detached from their experience.
After a few trips to a child psychologist, the parents’ fear that the kids were not alone that night and may have been abused seems to be the answer.
But it’s not long before unexplained light surges and noises start to cause unrest in the family home.
Sloppy crash zooms, lack of suspense and questionable pacing are the least of your concerns if you do happen to stumble upon this film.
There are sexual themes running throughout that I feel detract from what could have been an interesting tale of possession. An explicit lesbian sex scene and subsequent pillow talk about guilt (serving no narrative purpose at all), an odd sexual relationship between the parents and implied child abuse/pre teen incest each feel like misguided attempts to add meat to the bones of a creaking narrative.
These are themes that need to be delicately handled but here they are casually thrown in for the shock factor alone.
I strongly feel that if Bogliano had concentrated on the supernatural elements of the story he may well have been able to craft a spooky little gem. In contrast, this feels like he is striving to replicate films of a bygone era and in my opinion, he fails.
In a market full of Exorcist rip-offs, Here Comes the Devil offers a tiny spark of potential which, in the hands of someone else, could have been both original and frightening.
Alas, we are left with a confused revenge/exploitation/possession hybrid that suffers from the poor handling of taboo themes and very few moments of tension or dread.
I’d give this one a miss.