Monday, December 23, 2013

FILM REVIEW: Here Comes the Devil (2012)


Here Comes the Devil  made me feel tense and awful all throughout it's running time. It is the kind of film that gives you that black, nervous wrenching in the pit of your soul and never lets up. It deals with some truly scary stuff...while also giving new life to the usual genre elements that it incorporates. Here Comes the Devil  is among the best horror offerings of the year. No shit.

I've been waiting for this one for a while. Ever since I heard of the film's enormous praise from Fantastic Fest, I wanted to see it for myself. And finally, when it became available through iTunes...I seized the opportunity. I would have really loved to experience a film like this in a darkened theater with a crowd of like-minded horror fans...however, because of its tiny theatrical run...I was left with the intimacy of a computer screen for my particular experience. It was disheartening to learn what the film actually grossed on its opening weekend because of its really small distribution. I think something just short of 800 bucks. Ridiculous when you understand how amazing the film is. 

Ok...I'm gonna get the technical stuff out of the way first because I really want to dive into this film.


Adrián García Bogliano wrote and directed Here Comes the Devil. If you remember the films Cold Sweat  and Penumbra  then you are familiar with his work. Cold Sweat  is a cool little film that I really dug...however, I never got around to actually writing out a review for the film because of a little plagiarism incident that happened with a potential new writer for the site a couple of years ago. Long story short, someone wanted to write for Film Deviant, I gave that person a shot, that person copy/pasted an existing review for Cold Sweat, I felt cheated and lied to...and the review never happened. Which is a shame, really...because it's an interesting film. Bogliano also wrote and directed the "B is for Bigfoot" segment in The ABC's of Death. From a technical standpoint, Here Comes the Devil  is a work of raw energy. While the film certainly doesn't feel polished in any way, it is its unrefined brazen nature that gives it the perfect vessel for Bogliano to filter his Devilish story through. It's the kind of rawness that feels more at home on a video store shelf in the early 80's. That same rough feel echoes through the talent in front of the camera as well as the score and style of the film. The actors are real people with acne scars and pot bellies...none of that chiseled model shit that you find in a bigger picture, which lends itself nicely to the authenticity of the narrative. Even the way the film is shot, with its blatant zoom-ins feel straight out of a 70's grindhouse production.

Here Comes the Devil  is a tale that feels simple in structure. It is basically a story of a family of four out on a fun hike through some mountainous sandy territory somewhere in Mexico. Oh...by the by, this film is subtitled in Spanish. Hope you don't mind. So, the two kids (Adolfo: Alan Martinez, Sara: Michele Garcia) convince their parents to hike on their own. Mom and dad finally give in, mostly for a chance to finally be alone together. Sol is a strong mother type played by the lovely Laura Caro, who really impresses here. While Francisco Barreiro plays Felix, the every guy type who would sooner find a nice quiet place to nap instead of actually spending some quality time with his family. Anyway, while mom and dad are too busy engaging in dirty talk and sexual fun, the two kids wander off into an ominous cavern and end up not coming back. At least not until the following morning, in which the local authorities find them wandering on a road somewhere, much to the relief of the worry-stricken parents.

I won't reveal anything else, other than the kids aren't themselves anymore and from the point of the children's return things really start spiraling into a malevolent journey of psycho-sexual demonic disturbances which include the usual apparition rape, lights flickering on and off...and bruises found everywhere. Now, what differentiates this particular film from your usual supernatural/paranormal sell-out is the lengths that the story is willing to take the viewers perverse imagination to as it leads you down a narrow path full of incest evil.


Bogliano does expert work of opening the mood with hot girl-on-girl action...then almost immediately repulses the viewer with a super violent home invasion. He does this several times in the film in which you are coaxed by a couple of nicely shaped pierced nipples of the absolutely hot as fuck Barbara Perrin Rivemar, who plays the children's babysitter Marcia...only to be disgusted by her disturbing claims. It is a film that truly revels in its perversions on an intimate level and never loosens its grip on its audience. Even the few gory bits in the film are done with absolute unabashed detail. As if Argento, himself, stepped in and directed those particular sequences. If you remember the stabbing scene early on in Suspiria...then you should have an idea of how the FX gore is handled in this film.

I almost feel as if Here Comes the Devil  speaks on a grander level with its allusions to female sexuality and the way Bogliano handles female nudity throughout the film. In fact, the guy tends to really admire female flesh in every regard, as just about most of his actresses are unclothed at some point throughout his films. Except, here he sort of almost brings purpose to certain uncomfortable topics like the correlation between a female's coming of sexual age and impending evil. You almost get the feeling that Bogliano is fearful of women and respects their power. I dunno...maybe I'm just making that shit up.

I absolutely love Here Comes the Devil  in just about every way. Perhaps the only bad thing that I can say is that some aspects appear a little random and out of place. Like the opening girl-on-girl sequence, for example. Did that particular scene really lend itself to the rest of the story. However, you'll never catch me complaining about two hot Latin girls going at one another...so, it only added to my viewing experience. The film is an excellent example of independent horror filmmaking and horrific storytelling. It is the transcendent experience that I've been waiting for all this time. For my money, Here Comes the Devil  is the real deal. Do not miss this one.




Thanks for reading,

bryan.




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