One of my favorite quotes from MST3K comes from Pod People, and it goes something like this “What is it about the gates of hell that compels people to walk right in?” It is a valid question and one that is often explored in horror films. But sometimes the gates of hell aren’t physical, sometimes they are in the mind. This film takes a look at that concept with a helping of heavy metal, because Satan is pretty metal.
The film starts as many horror films do, with a family moving into home with a bit of a history. A double murder occurred in the house. Jesse (Ethan Embry) loves the home’s barn so he can paint his huge canvas’s and listen to heavy metal as inspiration. His wife Astrid (Sheri Appleby) and daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) are a little less enthused dealing with a greater distance to drive to work and a new school.
But everyone agrees that the house has a real problem attracting the imposing and obviously disturbed Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince). Ray is hearing a voice and it is driving him to do some horrible things. But the twist is, Ray used to live in this house and the voice started there. Too soon, Jesse starts to hear the same voice and his paintings become more and more deranged. What strange connection does Jesse have with Ray? And how will it doom this family when they come to understand the horror of The Devil’s Candy?
- Creates an eerie atmosphere and building dread
- The film keeps the viewer guessing at how dark it is going to turn
- Impressive performances by the entire cast
- Feels a bit choppy in places
- There are small elements of the story that don’t seem to have a payoff
- If you aren’t a fan of loud guitars then some of the music and sound design might aggravate you
Liked the way the film portrays the corruption that seems to spread from the home, and creates this feeling of dread. We see early on what happened to Ray and how he is (not) managing it. But as we get to know the family, we fear for them. The performance are what make this work, we like the dysfunctional family, and we fear Ray. The movie feels a bit uneven in places, and has a few elements that don’t really pay off, but overall the camerawork and pacing build the horror until you are never sure just how dark this movie is going to get. Well worth checking out if you are in the mood for some heavy metal dread.
Scores(out of 5)
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