“Devils Knot is a modern day witch hunt showing the faults of our justice system!”
Hitting the shelves this week is the highly anticipated film from Atom Egoyan, Devil’s Knot. Based off the true story of The West Memphis Three, Devil’s Knot brings the courtroom to the silver screen similar to JFK with an underlying of street justice not felt since Mystic River.
The films stars the A plus talent of Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon and Amy Ryan. All with memorable performances as we see the town crumble under the deaths of these three young boys. What you will see upon watching the film is the treatment of the case and the people of West Memphis, Arkansas feels more similar to the Salem Witch Trials then a modern day crime drama. It’s a film that shows the stark reality that people are deathly afraid of what they don’t understand.
There is an angst that builds inside of you while witnessing the events playing out in Devil’s Knot. While not always the best leading lady Witherspoon has an honest motherly sympathy to her role even though she could hold the key to it all. Her conflicting notions of what is right or wrong will dismantle your psyche as you scream out for her to do the right thing but understand her dilemmas as lost parent. The young cast does a great job of holding their own with the seasoned cast no more than James Hamrick who plays Damien Echols.
Even though there is a lot of back and forth between the courtroom and flashbacks Devil’s Knot plays out like a very well done made for television film. It failed in a sense, to reach the magnitude of the story it is based off of. Which was going to be hard to balance anyway due to the dark and grisly subject matter. The draw of the film is as overwhelming as the mysteries involving the actual case. The issue is with so much being thought of, or supposed, a true measure of actuality marginally exists in this film. That’s tough for any film based off a true story. Still Devil’s Knot is an intriguing enough of a watch to garner the eyes of many not familiar with The West Memphis Three.
Devils Knot is a drama and a damn good one at that. It has been mentioned and discussed in many of the realms of horror and that is a disservice. Asking horror fans to appreciate this film is not the direction it should have gone, but should really be something more out of a book of the month club. The story of The West Memphis Three will be known for sometime, but unfortunately for Devil’s Knot it will not lead the same path and just become a footnote on this disturbing tale. Devil’s Knot looks great and has an amazing cast so it’s worth the watch for those reasons. The Blu-ray combo pack also has a making of featurette and deleted scenes. When you see this in stores this week don't hesitate to pick it up.
Devil’s Knot is directed by Atom Egoyan and stars Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Ryan, Stephen Moyer and Mireille Enos. It now available on DVD, Blu ray and digital download. It is being released courtesy of Image Entertainment.