Devil’s Due, the latest from the filmmaking team known as Radio Silence, is a perfectly serviceable horror movie with some rather neat mythology that unfortunately gets lost in the trappings of its own storytelling format. Had the filmmakers gone for a more traditional filmmaking route, Devil’s Due could have been a more successful effort and that’s a damned shame because there are a lot of elements in the film I really enjoyed even if they never really came together in the end.
The story of Devil’s Due is pretty much what you’d expect if you’ve seen the trailer. An adorable newlywed couple, Zach and Sam (Zach Gilford and Allison Miller), find out shortly after they return from their honeymoon that their having a baby- something truly unexpected considering Sam was on birth control the entire time. And as her pregnancy progresses, Sam begins to exhibit bizarre and dangerous behaviors, prompting Zach believe that whatever is growing inside his wife is something far more evil than their own offspring.
While not necessarily the most original horror movie you’ll see this year, there were a few things that I appreciated about the story. Radio Silence do establish an interesting subplot concerning the circumstances of how and why Sam has been chosen to carry the antichrist in her womb. However, it feels like they really only ever scratch the surface with the idea and just never take it anywhere beyond what you pretty much see in the trailers.
Both Gilford and Miller are incredibly likeable and engaging in the film, but Devil’s Due relies so much on a compiled footage storytelling technique. The filmmakers take moments from the newlywed couple’s footage and other sources as well to create their story, as opposed to going the straight narrative route, and because of that we only get snippets of their characters, it limits the time we spend getting to know them or seeing them deal with their sinister predicament. None of the scenes ever play out long enough either, leaving several moments in Devil’s Due feeling truncated and out of place.
Several of the gags unfortunately play out rather predictably in Devil’s Due as well, making for an experience that would probably leave most hardened horror fans underwhelmed. However, I will give Radio Silence major kudos on several really great camera gags that were beyond impressive. I may not necessarily been a huge fan of the format they chose to make Devil’s Due in, but they did manage to raise the bar with inventive camera shots that this lover of filmmaking found badass.
Overall, Devil’s Due has a lot going for it, but just never quite comes together as a complete film. Radio Silence demonstrates here that they’ve definitely got a lot of talent behind the camera. I’m just hoping next time they step outside the storytelling format that put them on the map and go for something a bit bigger because their ideas felt held back because of their directorial approach. Certainly not a bad movie by any means, Devil’s Due just doesn’t go deep enough to ever deliver the scares or a satisfying story as a whole.
Film Score: 2.5/5