Devil's Due (2014)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Release Date - Jan 17, 2014 (USA)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Tracie Cooper

Devil's Due is more fun than some of the more recent installments in the Paranormal Activity franchise, though it's not up to par with The Last Exorcism Part II. The former statement isn't much of a compliment, and the latter is just kind of sad.

This found-footage film opens with a young man sitting handcuffed and bloodied in a police station while he is questioned about his involvement in a violent crime of some sort; a quoting of Biblical text indicates that, in this movie's version of the apocalypse, Satan plans on having a veritable litter of Antichrists. There is no mystery here: The gates of Hell have already opened, hope has been abandoned, and there is no chance of a happy reunion between footage and filmmaker.

While the lack of pretense in found-footage flicks is usually a plus (has any such movie since The Blair Witch Project caused us to wonder if things might actually work out?), Devil's Due is only found footage-ish, despite appearances and advertising. True, the vast majority of the film has been recorded by proud newlywed and excited future papa Zach McCall (Zach Gilford). And yes, CCTV footage from the police station, as well as a supermarket where Satan-baby mama Samantha (Allison Miller) eats raw meat straight from the container, would indicate that the audience is watching a consciously edited collection of footage. However, when the conclusion very clearly implies that this isn't the case, viewers will wonder just what it is they've been subjected to for 89 minutes, aside from a movie that wasn't very good.

Also problematic is the complete lack of logic on the part of the characters. While certainly not unexpected for the genre, there is a line between reasonable suspension of disbelief and situations that would not happen without significant chemical impairment or extraterrestrial intervention. The overprotective, irrepressibly considerate husband would simply not ignore the obvious discomfort of the beautiful, diminutive woman he clearly adores as a taxicab drives them deep into the bowels of an unknown country, outside of tourist attractions and into the realm of drugs, thugs, and prostitutes, just for the promise of adventure and a single free drink at the off-the-beaten-path locale suggested by an unknown taxi driver.

Beyond problematic and over the line into uncomfortable is the rather xenophobic premise that the Antichrists seem to prefer privileged, white American parents preselected for them by poor, predominantly dark-skinned men from other countries. Beyond problematic, past uncomfortable, and straight on until "please just stop" is the terrifying possibility that a multitude of Satan's progeny on Earth indicates a sequel.