15 year-old Alejandro Duran, who comes from a religious Latino family, aspires to one day be a Catholic priest. But when Alex discovers a mysterious box he unwittingly unleashes a demonic spirit bent on possessing him. Alex must find a way to defeat this ancient demon, which has been tormenting children since the dawn of man, before it destroys him and everyone he loves.
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is about a high school boy named Alex (Luca Oriel from "Shameless") who aspires to be a priest. His grandmother has just died, and her belongings were passed on to his mother, Lucia (Tessie Santiago from "Scandal"). While going through the items, Alex and his father, Marcos (Marcos A. Ferraez from "Sons of Anarchy"), find a completely sealed box in an armoire. They hear something rattling around inside, so they do what anyone would do; they saw it open with a bandsaw.
Inside is an old crucifix, and Alex puts it on a chain and starts wearing it. Soon after, Alex starts hearing strange whispering, and eventually, those noises manifest themselves into a monster in his closet. Alex also starts misbehaving at school, drinking with his friends and making out with girls. As the influential whispering gets louder and more pronounced, Alex has to figure out whether the crucifix protects him from it.or is attracting it.
In many ways, Devil's Whisper
is a typical occult/possession thriller. Directed by Adam Ripp (Gang Tapes
) from a script he wrote along with Oliver Robins (better known from his acting days as Robbie Freeling from Poltergeist
) and Paul Todisco (One Day Like Rain
), the film is a fairly standard cursed-object-falls-into-innocent-hands treatment. At least, it is until the monster shows up.
Now, the monster is far from the real threat in the movie, it's more of a physical manifestation of the changes that Alex goes through after he and his father crack open the sealed box. And the changes are symbolic of the temptations that Alex feels as the young man prepares for the clergy. But the monster is the catalyst for Alex's misbehavior, so it plays an important role in the narrative. Plus, it looks cool, in that rubbery Stan Winston/Rob Bottin way.
is a modernized version of the standard religious occult flick. It's got the story of The Possession
with the visual aesthetic of a Paranormal Activity
movie (not that it's found footage, but that it looks like it was shot in the same suburban neighborhood). As far as modern horror goes, it's nothing super special, but it could be a lot worse. It's worth a look, if only for the fun monster.
Since Devil's Whisper
is essentially a possession movie, and possession movies are a dime a dozen these days, there's very little in the film that will scare most horror fans. And the scary scenes are not the ones that deal with Alex's perceived possession; they're mostly centered around the monster in the closet. The monster is cheesy in the low-budget, zipper-in-the-back way, but it's also cool in a practical effects, Pumpkinhead
-esque way. And the creature is made creepier by the addition of the titular whispering that accompanies his presence. By the end, the monster does get a little cartoony and CG-laden, looking like the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers
with glow-in-the-dark Attack the Block
teeth, but its gooey appearance still packs a punch. Between the closet creature and Alex's violent mood swings, there are some scary moments in Devil's Whisper
, just not enough to truly terrify the audience.
The most effectively frightening scene has nothing to do with either the beast or Alex's possession, however. When Alex and his father are sawing open the mysteriously sealed box, Adam Ripp constructs the scene in a way that has the audience watching through their fingers, expecting either something to burst out of the box or for Alex's father to cut off one of his fingers. The tension and suspense is unbearable. It's a bit of a shame that the scene occurs so early in the movie, and that nothing that happens after it echoes that same feeling. But for those few minutes, Devil's Whisper
is cringingly horrifying.