Comforting Skin is Uncomfortably Bad

Has art gone too far? Or not far enough? Comforting Skin is one of those shitty artsy film festival thrillers that try to be a lot of things and fails catastrophically at most of them. Let’s be honest here, pretentious art films are horrifying in and of themselves, but when done badly… Oh, if I hear that same set of somber piano notes one more time whilst the nude protagonist continues to look distantly contemplative in an uncomfortable sexual situation that calls for no such behavior, I may just smash something. If you’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable and/or annoyed while watching a movie, Comforting Skin will scare the unholy hell right out of you.

First and foremost, nudity. Lots of it. All the time. Are you, dear reader of reviews, at all interested in seeing Victoria Bidewell nude? Yes, no? Regardless, you will. This is an art film about living tattoos, you main-stream film inundated sheep. If there isn’t a bare breast every third cut, the material is too willingly oppressed by social taboo and is consequently rendered mundane and uninteresting to real film connoisseurs. Get it? Got it? Good.

Comforting Skin 2Koffie (Bidewell) is an attention-starved junkie loser who lives with her neurotic, antisocial composer friend Nathan (Tygh Runyan). Nathan relies on her to do most “outside” things, like going out for breakfast with him or buying his groceries, and has exactly one truly amusing moment in which he fumblingly tries to order sausages and eggs at a breakfast joint. Following that, he’s relegated to being an emotional crutch for all of Koffie’s inane bullshit. It’s a little disappointing that the film would rather show us Koffie prancing around naked than explore Nathan’s personality a little further; the fact that he has no sexual interest in her (or her promiscuous junkie friend) makes him the most complex movie persona in the universe.

Once upon a time, Koffie was out partying, and when nobody paid any attention to her, she decided to get a tattoo. And then, for some inexplicable reason, this tattoo began to speak, and proceeded to help Koffie masturbate when her intention at the time had nothing to do with masturbation whatsoever. Between the tattoo’s pseudo-surreal, whispery, annoyingly indistinct voice, its appropriately (initially) comforting discourse, and its tendency to jack her off in elevators while appealing to her self-directed toe fetish, Koffie feel deeply, deeply in love with it. If there’s any semblance of self-love and self-acceptance buried in this movie’s metric ton of frustrated sexuality, you won’t see it. Actual happiness isn’t nearly pretentious enough.

Then some shit happens and the tattoo gets jealous of Koffie’s relationship with Nathan and that plays on her fear of being alone so she goes movie crazy. Like, cliché crazy, mumbling how the tattoo is hers and she loves it and it loves her over again while ignoring everything around her. And then she cuts her toes off with a white collar machete.

Comforting Skin 3Maybe I’m wrong, though. Maybe this movie is actually art, and I’m the inundated sheep I sarcastically mentioned. All I know is that my final impression of Comforting Skin was one of irritation. I cannot stand self-important “I have a message buried in tumultuous human nature” garbage. Give it a watch, throw down a comment if I’m wrong, and please tell me why and how Comforting Skin is good. Also I’m lying, and if you actually comment that the movie is good then you really need to reevaluate your standards. “See past the nudity”, ha-gosh darn-ha.

The Bloody Disgusting review of Comforting Skin thinks that Nathan’s gay, but I think they’ve got it wrong, man. Nathan’s just not willing to subject himself to the romantic turbulence that comes with dating/screwing Koffie. But hey, whatever, it’s never explicitly stated. Or… maybe it is? I can’t remember, I was too busy wading through nearly two hours of angsty bullshit. Read the Bloody Disgusting review here, and go away. I need to watch something that doesn’t make me feel bad.

Choices Matter in Would You Rather

Would You Rather

Lately I’ve been noticing a number of horror/thriller movies that revolve around sadistic aristocrats hosting cruel and often demeaning games played by average Joes bogged down in debt. The reward, of course, is always a sum of money large enough to eradicate any and all monetary issues one had prior to playing. However, as many taglines probably say, the price contestants pay to win is greater than the sum they earn. That’s the point of Would You Rather: To watch an assortment of poor folk struggle against each other and their hosts in order to make all their problems go away.

Would You RatherWould You Rather? focuses on the story of Iris (Brittany Snow) and her leukemia-riddled brother Lucas (Enver Gjokaj). While discussing the nonstop barrage of expensive treatment for brother dear with the good Doctor Barden (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), the generous Mr. Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) steps in and offers her an opportunity to make all the money she’ll ever need, as well as find a bone marrow donor for Lucas. All she must do to earn it is play a game, and after her initial skepticism is assuaged by Mr. Lambrick, she agrees to meet him at his estate.
The remainder of the cast is introduced at Lambrick manor, consisting of Shepard’s sadistic son Julian (Robin Lord Taylor), his equally sadistic former special agent butler Bevans (Johnny Coyne), Bevans’s staff, and a motley crew of people deep enough in debt to have a collectively large threshold for abuse. Abuse that includes making Iris, a vegetarian, eat a piece of foie gras for ten thousand dollars, and Conway, the recovering alcoholic, imbibe in a bottle of scotch for fifty thousand. Unfortunately for them, the game has yet to start, and those quaint payoffs are little but distractions. The real game consists of electrocution, whipping, drowning, eye-slicing (as per the box art), and other assorted party-friendly activities, all intended to reduce the player population to one.

Would You RatherThe progression of the game is rather linear, save for one ambiguous interruption by Dr. Barden. His experience with Lambrick’s game comes to light, along with his apparent distaste for the torment involved. Whether or not he manages to sway the game’s outcome will remain unmentioned, of course, though the movie remains almost comically grim through to the twisted conclusion. You will like the ending, even if you don’t care for the perfunctory mid-game dialogue.

Nathan Rabin of AV Club found Would You Rather’s protagonist tropey and uninspired, the torture scenes dull, and Sasha Grey’s performance comparable to that of a wet paper towel. Frankly, she was only as good as her lines, and being cast as a living PSA for “there’s nothing we can do” favored her nothin’. But hey, Jeffery Combs rocked as much of the movie as he could, and depending on how much you enjoy the end, you may well consider the movie salvaged. Check out the AV Club review here.

Dead Silence, the Consequence of Living Noise

Dead Silence

There should be a name for the spooky phenomenon that occurs after staring at a doll’s face for several minutes. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? After a while, you half-expect the lifeless face to blink, twitch, or otherwise move. What say we call it Dead Silence since it’s so downright disturbing? Ah, no, that’s actually the title of a movie about staring at creepy ventriloquist dummies. Rather, the dummies in Dead Silence stare at you before making you die in a terrible, jaw-dropping way. James Wan, the director of the movie Saw, continues to express his passion for horror with this tale of a vengeful spirit and her creepy, doll-centric haunting.

“Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children; only dolls. And if you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream.” In Ravens Fair in the 1940s, there was an aged ventriloquist by the name of Mary Shaw, who supposedly went mad and kidnapped the boy who had called her a fraud during one of her performances. Enraged, the townsfolk cut her tongue out and killed her, burying her with each and every one of her dummies as per her will. Curiously, the families of those who had killed her began to suffer mysterious deaths in the years following…

Dead SilenceJamie (Ryan Kwanten) and Lisa (Laura Regan) Ashen are a happily newlywed couple, content save for the fact that Lisa dies and has her tongue ripped out in the opening scene. What an odd coincidence! One could assign the blame to Billy, the haunted ventriloquist dummy that Jamie received in a package not minutes earlier, but that would be a lot of superstitious nonsense. At least, that’s what Detective Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) thinks, and lets Jamie know that he’s the top suspect in his wife’s murder investigation. Eager to be proven innocent (or to remove the spiritual executioner’s axe from his neck), Jamie-boy sets off for Ravens Fair.

Only, the closer he gets to his solution, the stronger the haunting becomes. Billy seems to follow him everywhere, and he can’t seem to enjoy alone time without some tongueless apparition appearing to him. Before long, the people who have helped him on his way suffer the same horrific deaths, and Jamie finds himself in a perilous struggle with the spirit of Mary Shaw. If only defeating her was as easy as not screaming; the long-dead ventriloquist’s got quite a few tricks up her sleeves.

Dead SilenceAs far as horror movies go, Dead Silence is above average in all fronts despite being particularly orthodox within the paradigm of the genre. Jump scares galore, of course, yet this is made more tolerable by remembering that little precautionary poem. You’ll even be pleased to notice that Jamie does not scream. At least, not until- Oh, I wouldn’t spoil it for you.

Josh Green of  FirstShowing thoroughly enjoyed Dead Silence’s gimmick, and I can see why. Building tension is a crucial aspect of the horror genre, and the one employed here is both creative and effective. Of course, as Mr. Green says in his review here, telling you any more about it would ruin the fun. So, happy watching, and remember not to scream!

Housebound, but Not Genre-Bound

Housebound

Housebound is brilliant in that it’s never what you’re expecting it to be. A quick glance at the gloomy box art invokes thoughts of the used and abused haunted house genre, yet a closer look reveals that things aren’t thematically absolute. Brutal acts of violence and jump scares are preceded by satirical snippets of humor, making you wonder whether you should laugh or wet your pants. Complimented by an atypical (and wonderful) absence of the “damsel in distress” trope, Housebound’s composition is immaculate; by the end of the film, you’ll feel as if you’ve actually watched a different kind of horror movie.

HouseboundKylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) is nothing but trouble. She’s chasing purple dragons, blowing up ATM machines with homemade explosives for some quick cash, and is generally unapproachable owing to her punkish attitude. Bad luck strikes when one of her robbery attempts falls flat on its ass and she winds up arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a supposedly lenient eight months of home detention, complete with an ankle monitor and a irritatingly chatty mother. The judge hoped to impose some stability on her chaotic life, but as one would expect, Kylie isn’t happy to be home, and she ensures that EVERYONE in the house is aware of this sentiment.

One uneventful evening (and there are many, presumably), Kylie hears her mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) on the radio, talking about how her house is haunted. Years back, she witnessed a shadowy figure down in the basement, and the memory spooks her to this day. Kylie initially ridicules her mother for being superstitious, but then begins to experience the symptoms of the haunting firsthand. Funny enough, her corrections officer Amos (Glen-Paul Waru) happens to be a real paranormal enthusiast, and proceeds to give her a hand scoping the place for any unruly spirits. It isn’t long before they discover that they’re digging up something worse than a few spooky ghosts.

HouseboundI won’t spoil the twists and turns for you, but I will tell you that there are a solid few. Twists that involve sociopathic behavior, the revelation of deeply buried secrets, and the possibility of murder. Who knows which order those’re in, eh? You’ll have to find out yourself.

Mike D’Angelo believes that Kylie’s house arrest needed to be a much more pivotal point of the film, but I’m inclined to think that the genius is more evenly dispersed. The spunky, aggressive protagonist and interspersed satirical humor are reason enough to like Housebound; the layered plot and slow-but-steady revelation of the real antagonist is reason to love it. Still, my sense of humor might not be in line with everyone else’s, so you should check out the A.V. Club review right through here.

Oculus, a Reflection

Oculus

As a movie, Oculus was fresh, unique, and interesting. As a concept, it made me a little nervous. The metaphorical sun this star system of spooks orbits is an antique mirror haunted by a particularly nasty spirit that gets its rocks off by screwing with people’s minds before driving them to suicide. You might think, “But if the spirit’s power is connected to the mirror, why can’t the protagonists just smash it?” First of all, this is a horror movie. How dare you suggest the obvious solution. Secondly, the mirror doesn’t just mess with minds; it peels them apart and drags out your deepest, darkest memories, tormenting you at a growing pace via vivid hallucinations. You thought you were smashing the mirror? Nah, you were just watering a plant. Have a gun pointed at it? Double check you’re not pointing it at yourself. Lock and load!

OculusTim Russel (Brenton Thwaites) just got released from a mental institution, supposedly fixed after suffering a particularly nasty and mirror-oriented childhood trauma. His big sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has followed the Lasser Glass to an auction house, and marks it for “repair” so she can transport it to their old family home and set the record straight. With recorded evidence of ol’ Lassie Glassie’s supernatural nature, big sister can finally prove to the world that in fact the mirror killed her mother, not their father, who was driven to violent insanity by Lassie’s aura. See, the problem there is, Kaylie is afflicted by the teenage delusion that she’s invincible to Lassie’s influence, and Tim has been mentally “fixed” so meticulously that he initially doesn’t want anything to do with the project when his sister lays down the brass tacks.

Through a system of timers, cameras, and one weighted mirror-cracking killswitch on a timer, Kaylie hopes to threaten the mirror into defending itself against the threat of destruction, consequently recording tangible proof of its supernatural influence. It sure seems like a great idea, until the siblings start experiencing none other than violent, vivid hallucinations that take them right back to the darkest days of their childhood. And yes, they’re not allowed to leave. Not until the haunt is done with them.

See, due to the psychological nature of the Lasser Glass’s power, the backstory and the present are interwoven seamlessly, to the point where you wonder what’s real and what isn’t. Not only are Kaylie and Tim having flashbacks that shut off their awareness of the present, they’re also prone to normal hallucinations that screw with them to the same extent. Seriously, Kaylie goes to take a bite out of an apple and it turns out to be a light bulb. Or does it? I’m not gonna tell you because it would be spoiling one of my favorite moments.

OculusYou can get your hopes up for the Russel siblings, but you probably shouldn’t. Oftentimes the human mind is the only thing that can conquer deranged killers and spooks, but without that… You’re even more screwed than the idiots who keep leaving machetes and chainsaws next to the supposedly dead murderer’s body. Basically spoiled the nature of the ending, but at least you get to wonder just how catastrophically they fail!

Kofi Outlaw of ScreenRant was none too happy with the ending, saying that it went out with a fizzle instead of a bang. I’m on the same page, but I do think Oculus is creative enough to warrant a curiosity watch and a rewatch for clarity at the very least. Kofi explains the origin of the film in his review, so if you want the full Oculus review experience, take a dive through here: http://screenrant.com/oculus-reviews-movie-2014/

Haunter is Horror Evolved

Haunter

Which makes it Gengar. You may not have heard that I was gonna Raichu a review about it, because I’m glad you came and Togepi-k to see what it was all about anyway.

I haven’t seen Groundhog Day in maybe four, five years, but Haunter brought the memory right back. The genres are completely different, Groundhog day being a romantic comedy with Bill Murray, and Haunter being a vaguely psychological horror thriller with Abigail Breslin. You remember Abigail, right? The adorable girl from Little Miss Sunshine? See, there’s no sunshine where she is this time around, but there is plenty of fog. And ghosts. I had trouble transitioning from stripping and dancing to Super Freak, but I digress.

HaunterHaunter’s premise and execution are commendable, making this one of the few horror movies that’s actually worth watching for the plot. In it, Lisa (Breslin) is quite dead, but isn’t aware of it. What she is aware of is the single day that she’s forced to experience over and over again, all variations caused by her actions insignificant and lost when the next loop begins. Her attempts to break free of the cycle incite a medley of strange sounds and voices, all of which serve the dual purpose of startling both you and her while pointing to clues that explain what the heck happened.

That’s when the Pale Man comes. Disguised as a phone line repairman, he politely asks Lisa to ignore the strange happenings in the house and to just act as if everything is normal. There certainly won’t be any problems if she does that. She doesn’t listen, of course, and he doesn’t like it. The more Lisa listens to the whispers, the closer she comes to understanding the nature of her reality. Trying to find where the bodies are buried ends up taking a literal turn and revealing that she isn’t the only one whose spirit has been claimed by the house.

HaunterHaunter is a once-off watch, but that isn’t a bad thing. The intricacies of its plot are unique enough to keep you guessing what’s going to happen, and though it isn’t terribly visceral or full of jump-scares, you’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of unease until the climax. The ending is bland, but as with happiness, the meaning is in the path you walk, not the destination you seek. This film may not be happiness itself, but it’s definitely a fun way to waste an hour and a half.

Dee Rudebeck of TheGuardian mentions Groundhog Day as well, which makes me a little sad inside because I’m not the unique butterfly I thought I was. Also according to the speaker of the guardian, Haunter is a bit slow and uninspired, which I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH GO WATCH THE MOVIE. Ahem. Here’s the link to the alt review: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/apr/03/haunter-review-horror-abigail-breslin#start-of-comments

The Shrine, Makeupalooza

The Shrine


The Shrine has earned my respect as a horror movie by relying heavily on makeup effects. Factoring out the Evil Dead remake, you don’t really see a lot of that, y’know? Sure, it looked cheesy, but that’s the fun of it! Retro-glamor with a dash of horrific mutilation and tides of blood. The premise of the movie is really neat, and the scares are viable whether you laugh or scream at goofy looking monster masks.

The ShrineCarmen is a journalist looking to find her next big scoop. She thinks she already has it; several disappearances of European tourists in the Polish village of Alvania. After acquiring a journal from one of the tourists and being haunted by his bloody-eyed visage in a dream, she decides that she’s going to Poland. Not without conscripting the aid of Sara the intern and Marcus the estranged boyfriend first, of course.

In Alvania, they find an enormous patch of dense, dark, unmoving fog, as described in Eric Taylor’s journal. The locals don’t take very kindly to the presence of strangers, and are quick to turn them away from the fog. Carmen notices that the fog is the only part of Alvania that the townsfolk are safeguarding, so naturally, it must be where the tourists are. The team sneaks over to the fog to investigate, and Carmen and Sara go on in. Marcus stays back, because fuck that noise. It’s spooky.

The ShrineIt’s all downhill from there. The townsfolk capture the lot and murder Sara with a ritual that involves hammering a mask with large iron spikes where the eyes would be into her head. The same masks had been seen earlier in a room full of corpses. Clearly the fog has some greater significance if it would incite such an occult reaction. On the brighter side of things, I was relieved to find that the Alvanians didn’t function as a one-dimensional antagonist force due to the snazzy twist near the climax. Horror movies don’t have a lot of room for fluid morality; you have to appreciate the little things. Anyway, we’re nearing spoiler territory, so I’m gonna have to cut this short.

Overall, I’d consider The Shrine a decent horror flick. It’s not radically original, but it has its own unique charm, particularly with the horror evoked by
the iron masks. That could just be personal preference talking, but faceless masks always seem to get under my skin.

The ShrineHorror Movie A Day thought The Shrine had a tactically boring startup with a scare-fest second half, and I’m inclined to agree. As far as pacing goes, setting your audience up with low expectations and then bringing out the big guns works wonders. That specifically may or may not have been planned, but it works all the same. Here’s the alt review for a more detailed look at The Shrine: http://horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com/2010/10/shrine.html

The Woman, or Feral Sex Slave

The Woman

Hold onto your Stockholm syndrome, lads and lasses! This one’s a doozie. Bloody Disgusting indeed. Every time I see that buzz-saw skull, I know I’m in for a real treat.

The Woman. Now, there’s a simple title. What could possibly hide behind such mystifying ambiguity? Surely it couldn’t be a blatant rape fantasy disguised as a would-be noble message of anti-misogyny? Oops, spoiler alert. Truth be told, I went looking for a bad movie based on title alone, and it seems as though my nose is sharp, and my criticism sharper. Let’s crack this nut, shall we?

The WomanThe description should send a message to any interested in rape roleplay, as it suggests a woman living in the wild is captured by a sadistic lawyer who then tries to “civilize her.” This is no Tarzan and Jane story we’re dealing with, I’ll have you know. Torture, nudity, molestation, rape, it’s all there. Quality entertainment. Ever wanted to watch a child perform nipple torture with a pair of pliers? This is the flick for you! There’s no way to look around it, because it’s basically the entire movie.

Plot-wise, there isn’t much to go on. The “protagonists” are a family of four consisting of a chronically depressed (and pregnant) daughter, a delinquent son, a submissive mother, and a complete monster of an abusive father. The father goes hunting, finds the woman living in the woods, knocks her out, and ties her up in his cellar. Then, because he’s such a generous soul, he lets his entire family participate in her civilization. Rather, he forces them, but the film is about sensationalizing rape so that goes without saying.

The WomanThe concept driving the film is designed to cause its viewers to question the difference between “feral” and “civilized.” You would obviously side with the woman after seeing what the lawyer and his son do to her, but I’m of the opinion that it’s easier to express and propagate feminism without portraying its exact opposite to an offensive extreme. As a viewer and not a director, I’d have to say that all The Woman did was piss me off. As such, my review comes down to a matter of taste, and I find this particular film profoundly distasteful.

I shan’t be attaching an alternate review this time around due to the fact that I can’t seem to find a concurrent opinion, and I’d prefer nobody else be subjected to this sensationalist garbage. If you look up an alternate review on your own, you’re going to come across the Sundance festival incident. All you need to know is, there were plenty of walkouts. That’s all. Have a great time not watching The Woman.

Contracted, The D Full of Z

Contracted

It is done. Contracted has allowed me to weave the title that will usher in the end of ages. The apocalypse is upon us, and I’ll die the most hilarious person on Earth.

But in all seriousness (of which there is none), once I explain this movie’s alarmingly contemporary theme, you’ll understand just how apt that last statement was. If you haven’t already divined the meaning of this review’s legendary title, I’ll fill you in: Contracted is a movie about a girl who gets infected with an STD that turns her into a zombie.

ContractedWhoa now, put your assorted violence-inducing implements away. The only reason I offered such an explicit spoiler right out of the gate is because this movie is stupid. REALLY stupid. It falls under the dusty horror movie archetype known as “What happened to common sense?” I mean, if you found a maggot in your vagina after having a chunky “period” heavy enough to feed a third world country of vampires, would you agree to work some extra hours at your job over seeing your doctor? And since the subject of suspension of disbelief needs to be broached, how the hell would a maggot get in there in the first place?

Shit, I really shouldn’t have mentioned suspension of disbelief. Here we go! You wouldn’t: The Musical! You wouldn’t:

  • Diagnose a patient who is painfully vague about her obviously abnormal symptoms with a headache and a rash without further examination.
  • Ignore the medical implications of finding a maggot in your vagina and not rush to the ER. An M in your V, if you will.
  • Skip a doctor’s appointment after your fingernails, teeth, and hair fall out while your eyes bleed and turn red.
  • Prepare food in a restaurant while terribly, terribly diseased.
  • Allow an employee to prepare food while they’re conspicuously terribly, terribly diseased after having witnessed them in such a condition.
  • Kiss someone with black, bulging veins, bleeding eyes, and rotten teeth.
  • Under any circumstance, have sex with someone who looks and smells like a zombie, no matter how desperate you are.

ContractedDid you like my musical? You… you see what I’m saying, right? Everyone’s fucking stupid. It’s shit like that that makes horror movies easy to dismiss as whimsical, “what if…?” garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the concept and loved the makeup effects (even if the red contacts looked bogus), but Contracted has all the finesse of an orangutan trying to brush its teeth with a baseball bat. Does that phrase seem ridiculous to you? Have you considered that that clause is an allegory for how ridiculous this movie is? Now we’re seeing eye to eye.

ContractedDennis Harvey of Variety, however, missed the point. Maybe he didn’t want the movie closely enough, but the supposed nice guy Riley is actually a depressing cliché of “nice guys,”  and a stalker to boot. You’ve heard the stories. He watched Samantha get date raped from afar, and continually hit on her, over and over, despite having been told on multiple occasions that lesbians don’t like the D. But hey, if she was date raped at a party by a man, then that must mean she’s an easy lay and willing to diddle ANYONE, right? Maybe if he keeps pestering her, she’ll let him into her Z’d V. Here’s the alt review link. Take it with a grain of salt: http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/contracted-review-1200810688/

 

Oh, and I just noticed. Why the hell is the tagline, “Not your average one night stand,” when what actually happened was date rape? Seriously? That’s an odd thing to overlook.

Devil, the Hellevator

Devil

The movie I’m about to tell you about is called Devil, but it should have been called Hellevator or had a tagline like that. “Devil,” psh. That’s about as creative as naming your pet hamster Rodent. As far as Satanic horror movies go, it’s not actually very scary. It gets super tense at parts through utilization of flickering lights coupled with unusual deaths, but never really steps into that jump-scare territory. That’s what happens when the entire movie occurs in a malfunctioning elevator and you’re not allowed to know who the one making trouble is, I suppose. Not a lot to work with.

Devil begins with a priest dying by falling out of a rather tall building, and a narration describing a priest dying and how that kind of thing usually means Satan is up to shenanigans. Then, five people get into an elevator and it enters inspection mode. Then, the lights flicker and someone gets bit. You may be hoping they turn into a demon zombie, but they don’t, for which I am profoundly sorry. The security guards watching via the elevator’s camera call the police to defuse the situation, which brings Detective Bowden to the scene.

DevilBowden is a recovering alcoholic who lost his wife and daughter in a hit and run car accident several years prior. That might seem irrelevant, but it plays an important role later on, so hush. He’s the one who doesn’t believe in the Devil because he thinks people are bad enough on their own. Ramirez, the religious security guard and narrator of the beginning of the film, gives him some guff for it, though they eventually join forces to take on Satan in a loose, moralistic sense. You can’t actually fight Satan, I don’t think.

Anyway, here’s the lineup of people trapped in the elevator in case you want to sleuth who the devil is before you watch the movie, if you even plan on it:

  • Ben Larson, a temp security guard.
  • Jane Cowski, an old woman.
  • Vince McCormick, a scumbag mattress salesman.
  • Tony, a former mechanic and Afghanistan veteran.
  • Sarah Caraway, a rich and tricky young woman.

DevilBy the way, Sarah Caraway is played by Bojana Novakovic. That’s a name I haven’t heard since Drag Me to Hell. That one and Devil are similar, though the latter lacks a sense of humor and focuses more on being a moral lesson, the lesson being “you better not do nasty shit or the Devil gon’ come round and kill you dead.”

Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend is quickly becoming my favorite movie reviewer around. According to him, Ramirez knows the secret of the Devil. He knows it super good-like because his grandma told him. He just doesn’t tell anyone until everybody’s already dead. You should read this other review because it’s silly and clever and I like it: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Devil-4849.html

1 2 3 11