It's no secret that I love foreign horror. For a long time, Italy was at the fore front of the foreign horror movement, with Dario Argento leading the force. However, there are a good number of countries out there that are starting to make names for themselves in the horror world; Japan, France and Korea have been making waves for some time now. Recently though, some pretty disgustingly tasty things have begun trickling out from many others, one of the most recent being our neighbor to the south: Mexico.
I posted a review in the past for the amazing Somos lo que hay, which was very successfully remade into the American We Are What We Are. It goes without saying that I was very excited about Here Comes the Devil. I am happy to be back at it and reviewing the flick, so let's get started, shall we?
Title: Here Comes the Devil
Director(s): Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Writer(s): Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Starring: Laura Caro, Francisco Barreiro, Michele Garcia
Studio: MPI Media Group, Morbido Films, Salto de Fe Films
Running Time: 97 minutes
Release Date: September 11, 2012
“A married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they used to be, that something terrifying has changed them.” - IMDB
This film plays on many fears; fear of the unknown, fears based in local mythology/the occult and the fear that every parent has: losing their child. I suppose you could also say that it plays on the fear of watching a loved one change into someone, or something, that you do not know, and cannot love.
From the opening act, it is immediately made apparent that this film is going to be a trip, both literally and figuratively. The film constantly tests visual boundaries, and seems to pay homage to the exploitation and schlock movements of the 1970's. While the film is far from blood soaked, the few moments of gore seem to be artistically placed and are very well executed. You will have a scene of intense violence that is purely and utterly retro horror at it's finest, yet the film will revert back to a gritty and dark psychological mind melt once the scene is complete. Often times the film seems discombobulated, but at the same time, seems calculated. You can't help but wonder if this was Bogliano's intention, or if it was just a happy mistake. This is a film that is hard to put a finger on, in terms of plot and and composition.
In terms of on screen talent you have Francisco Barreiro, whom I will personally be keeping an eye out for, as he not only plays the father in this, but the brother/partriarchal leader in Somos lo que hay. Next to the the children, his performance was top notch. I would imagine that have to take on the role of a father of a child who was abused is tough, but he does it with enough conviction that you are completely on his side when he takes action into his own hands.
As far as the kids go, this is some of the finer acting I've seen from children, especially from Alan Martinez who plays Adolfo, the young son. His steely eyed stare made the film for me, and set the tone for the entire thing. Readers of my site will know that I normally shy away from horror that places it's egg's in the kid basket, but this is an instance in which I think it worked. Hey, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, maybe you can take some hints from this one for Sinister 2?
In closing, I have to honestly say that I was mildly disappointed by the end result of this film. The third act in any horror film is the often times the most important act, and this one went in a rather interesting direction, however a completely predictable one. I can't decide whether or not I need a second viewing, but it just wasn't everything that I was hoping for. I felt the film had a hard time deciding whether or not it was a psychological thriller or a supernatural horror film, but I would still say that it is a fun ride regardless.
So would I recommend it? Yes, it is absolutely one of the finer horror flicks to hit the waves in the last year, and as always, support underground and independent horror!
Until next time, and as always,
Keep it spooky,
OVERALL RATING: 7/10