Movie Review - Devil's Due
If Paranormal Activity and Rosemary's Baby had, well… a baby, it would be named Devil's Due. I am sure that has been said of the film before, but only because it is 100% accurate. In truth, this film succeeds as a found footage film, but ultimately fails on almost every other level. Which is even more disappointing considering it was directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gilett, two of the members of Radio Silence (the team that created '10/31/98' - the best segment from V/H/S). This really should have been a much better film. But it is plagued by unoriginality. Don't get me wrong, the film looked fine. And the two lead actors Zach Gilford and Allison Miller were both likable and convincing as newlywed couple, Samantha and Zach. But a polished looking film, with charismatic actors can only take you so far. But they really never brought anything else to the table.
On the last night of their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, Zach and Samantha are taken to an underground dance club by a suspiciously friendly taxi driver, where they drink until they black out. After waking up in their hotel room, they rush to the airport on their way back home. Once home, Samantha learns that she is pregnant. But as the pregnancy progresses, she begins to undergo changes both physically and behaviorally.
Despite what could have been a good premise, the film fails to contribute anything new to the found footage genre. In fact it seems as if they've just recycled the same jump scares and tricks from all five Paranormal Activity films and even a little of the Blair Witch Project (a superior example of found footage done well). And the story is predictable and rushed. All in all, it's kind of a mess.
I wanted to like this movie going in, despite some of the early reviews I read that panned it. But now I see why it hasn't been getting much praise. I implore indie-film makers to try to push the genre in some new and interesting directions or abandon it altogether. I have seen way too many good films made for much less, that don't use the found footage genre as a crutch, and instead take real risks. So, Devil's Due yourself a favor and skip it. So sorry, I had to. I couldn't resist.
- Leo Francis