Synopsis: A couple’s preteen son and daughter inexplicably reappear after being lost overnight on a desolate, cave-riddled mountainside. Becoming withdrawn and beginning to exhibit strange behavior, their parents quickly assume something sinister happened to them while missing and alone. But after hearing an ominous local legend…the concerned mother and father begin to realize that their children may have fallen prey to something inhuman – and that this dark, unstoppable evil has now returned home with them.
Release Date: October 13, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
There are some horror movies that have the ability to make the viewer glad that they are not a parent. Here Comes the Devil is one of them.
Here Comes the Devil begins in the hills of Mexico where Felix (We Are What We Are‘s Francisco Barreiro) and Sol (Mexican singer/songwriter Laura Caro) have brought their children, Adolfo and Sara (Alan Martinez and Michele Garcia, both in first roles), for a family vacation. The kids want to hike to the top of the hills, and the parents, seemingly thankful for some alone time, agree to let them go. The peace turns to panic when the children do not return. After notifying the police, the couple stays in town another night, hoping that the children can be found safe and sound. The kids come back the next day, but they are different, exhibiting behaviors and attitudes that suggest something horrible has happened to them. Felix and Sol go on a quest to discover who – or what – has done this to their children, a vengeful and bloody quest that leads them back to the caves in the hills where the children disappeared.
Coming from the mind of writer/director Adrian Garcia Bogliano (Cold Sweat, Penumbra), Here Comes the Devil is a gritty and disturbing film that unfolds slowly and deliberately, never letting the viewer know too much too soon. Like Bogliano’s other films, it’s violent, suspenseful, and more than a little bit sexy at times. It’s a Mexican film, but has a decisively Italian feel, drawing influence from the supernatural films of Mario Bava and the bloody giallo films of Dario Argento. It’s also got a very retro feel to it, almost like one of those lost movies from the seventies that has been recently rediscovered on late night cable, and that fact works in Here Comes the Devil‘s favor.
There’s an interesting concept at work in Here Comes the Devil. While the kids are hiking the mountain, Felix and Sol are getting hot and heavy in the front seat of their car. The parents are neglecting their kids in order to have sex, and the kids end up vanishing. It’s an interesting twist on the classic horror movie trope of sex-equals-punishment, one which results in a fate worse than death for many parents – the loss of their kids. Once the kids come back, the nightmare does not stop, as Felix and Sol will stop at nothing to figure out what is wrong with their children, jumping to all of the wrong conclusions along the way. The parental paranoia and feelings of guilt over the suffering of the children makes Here Comes the Devil much more than a simple horror film.
Here Comes the Devil is a tricky film to pin down. The title makes it sound like a The Exorcist-style possession movie. The first act makes it seem like a missing kid film. It goes through stages of being a psychological thriller, paranormal fright-fest, and downright slasher movie as it works its way to its shocking and inevitable conclusion. Here Comes the Devil is a bit schizophrenic at times, but in a good way; it both entertains and disturbs the viewer in ways that are difficult to describe. It’s a tough watch, but it’s rewarding in the end.
At first, the photography in Here Comes the Devil seems amateurish, but eventually the viewer realizes that there’s a point to it. Adrian Garcia Bogliano and his regular cinematographer, Ernesto Herrera, manage to create a brilliant grindhouse feel, making Here Comes the Devil look like a quick and dirty art film. The photography also owes a lot to old spaghetti westerns, with wide-angle external shots and washed out colors. There are even a handful of motivated speed zooms and primary color filter shots that contribute to the seventies horror vibe of the film so accurately that it borders on parody. The look of the film is a big part of its effectiveness; it’s a case of less is more, and if it were done any slicker it would lose credibility. Once the film gets rolling and the viewer realizes that the photography is a result of many conscious choices on the part of the director and cinematographer, Here Comes the Devil stops looking like a student film and starts looking like an art house masterpiece.
Anything involving kids automatically raises the stakes as far as scary goes, and Here Comes the Devil is a prime example. The changes that the kids go through are subtle yet horrifying, and the parents’ anguish is another unsettling aspect of the picture. The entire film has an air of paranoia, with neither the characters nor the audience knowing who to completely trust. There’s something for everyone; there are sections of supernatural horror for the casual fans, areas of pure suspense for the purists, and even a couple of really bloody slayings for the gore hounds. There’s bound to be a scene somewhere that scares even the most jaded of horror viewers in Here Comes the Devil.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Adrian Garcia Bogliano
- Screenwriter(s): Adrian Garcia Bogliano
- Cast: Francisco (Barreiro (Felix))Laura Caro (Sol)
- Editor(s): Carmen Vargas
- Cinematographer: Ernesto Herrera
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Julio Pillado
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA