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'Here Comes The Devil' is a prophecy not quite fulfilled

A suggestive looking cave. Do you dare enter?
A suggestive looking cave. Do you dare enter?
© Magnet Releasing

Here Comes The Devil


If you are looking for a drinking game, I've got the perfect one for you. Take a drink every time the camera zooms in on something in "Here Comes The Devil". Seriously, what is the obsession with zooming that the makers of this movie clearly have? It starts slowly with some zooms popping up here and there, but then it starts to get out of hand. The zooming happens more and more frequently as the movie goes along. After a certain point, it is hard not to laugh anytime the camera zooms in. It all culminates in a montage of nothing but zooms that had me exploding with laughter. I wasn't the only one in the theater with this response.

Now, perhaps the makers of "Here Comes The Devil" wanted the movie to be a little bit off the wall. In fact, I believe they did. I think this movie is probably meant to be so bizarre that it could elicit laughter. However, I'm not sure if all the zooming was really intended to be taken without any seriousness. It's hard to know.

What I do know about "Here Comes The Devil" is that as it moves along it gets increasingly hard to take the movie seriously in any aspect. The movie begins with a scene that I actually found to work in a serious manner. It is a strong opening for the movie that gives a little taste of the bizarre things that are about to be seen in the rest of the movie. At first glance, "Here Comes The Devil" appears to be a solid entry into the horror genre. However, somewhere between all the zooms and interestingly bizarre events is cinematography and editing that leave some things to be desired. The movie just never really quite leaves the impression that a movie of this nature should visually.

The acting in "Here Comes The Devil" is fine, but there are some moments that had me laughing when I wasn't sure I should be. That is probably due more to the random appearances of certain characters and not so much of the actors themselves. Actually, I think the acting in this movie was the part that I could take most seriously.

The plot of "Here Comes The Devil" involves the disappearance of a couple's children after they go exploring in a cave. The children are found eventually, but something isn't quite right. What exactly happened when they disappeared? Where did they go? Were they kidnapped, raped, or beaten? If so, by who? Is there a human villain involved or is it, as the title may imply, something more supernatural? What if it is just nothing? What if the problems are all in the couple's head? These questions may all run through your mind while watching the film and they may or may not be answered by the end of the film.

The movie, in the end, may leave you a little puzzled. I know I was. I can't say I really understand exactly what happens in certain parts of the film and perhaps that is why "Here Comes The Devil" didn't really work for me in the end. I will say that I was entertained throughout the movie, but I was disappointed that what started out as a more serious horror movie ended up being something I couldn't stop from laughing at. The laughs in the film may or may not be intentional. I do not know, but I do know that the movie is entertainingly bizarre. I give the filmmakers credit for creating an atmosphere where you really don't know what is going on or what is going to happen next. The movie certainly isn't a cookie cutter style film that follows any kind of traditional formula.

Unfortunately, the tone is just too uneven in "Here Comes The Devil". It is too serious to really get a good enough laugh out of, but too comically bizarre to really take seriously. Some of the things that happen in the movie are pretty low-key and other things are totally over the top. It is an odd mixture that, while different from the norm, doesn't really satisfy completely. The ending, in particular, didn't seem climatic enough for all that had come before it. Though really, I was left more confused than any other kind of emotion.

Hopefully, writer/director Adrián García Bogliano will find a more even tone in his next picture. I would like to see him take his bizarre ideas to a further length. It is the bizarre "what am I watching?" moments that work best in "Here Comes The Devil". The problem is that they just don't come consistently or in big enough bursts to make the movie as solid as it could be. A title like "Here Comes The Devil" makes the viewer expect something bold that puts everything right in your face. The movie is actually more subtle than that in some ways.

"Here Comes The Devil" ends up having more potential than it actually capitalizes on. It is an odd movie and it definitely provides some enjoyment because of this, but it is inconsistent in its tone. "Here Comes The Devil" seems as unsure of what it wants to be as the viewer may be unsure of what is happening on screen. Ambiguity and general mind-bending can be fun, but not so much when there is uncertainty of whether or not the filmmakers even know what is going on themselves. I wouldn't say this devil has quite left its mark here, but I feel like there could be something approaching on the horizon.