January 2, 2014

Here Comes the Devil (2013)

If you've ever seen the 1979 Peter Weir classic, Picnic at Hanging Rock, then you basically have an idea what awaits you in Here Comes the Devil.

Of course, Here Comes the Devil is filled with graphic sex, nudity, hints of incest, and a liberal amount of bloodletting (none of which were at all a part of Picnic at Hanging Rock), but aside from that, they're basically the same movie.

It's also fair to point out that the kids in one movie make it home after having gone missing, while in the other movie, they do not. One movie is also filled with Mexicans, while the other is populated by Australians.

So in the end, maybe they are not basically the same movie at all, though there are some definite similarities. Maybe Here Comes the Devil is the movie that Picnic at Hanging Rock always aspired to be, but could never be, because The Devil lives in Mexico or something...

Sounds plausible to us.

Here Comes the Devil opens on the most promising of notes, by giving us a fully nude lesbian scissor-kissing session, which is really the way that every decent movie should hope to open. Sadly, following a knock on the door, one of the sexy Sapphic Senoritas is beaten to a pulp by a crazed madman, who ends up running off into the mountains, stripping naked, and collapsing in  a heap. We're pretty sure that he died up there.

Taco-flavored kisses.
Cut to a family vacationing in Tijuana. While the preteen children venture off into the very same mountains to explore whatever it is you explore in the Tijuana mountains, Mom and Dad stay behind in the car, where Dad proceeds to finger-bang Mom into a stupor. When the children don't return from their hike, Mom blames their disappearance on Dad for being a perv, while Dad blames it all on Mom for being a whore. Nice family.

So this is what passes for fun in Mexico...
The next day, the children return as if nothing has happened, and all is well... or is it? No, things are not at all well, which leads us to believe that either the kids ran afoul of the naked madman (from the prologue) while in the mountains, and were molested by him, or that they found Satan, and were molested by him. Either way, the children are not the same as they were before their little excursion, which leads to all sorts of creepy shit going down.

That cave looks like a thong.
As the children's behavior grows increasingly odd, Mom (and eventually Dad) start to investigate what really happened to them while they were missing. That of course leads to some crazy violent retribution, lots of nudity and sex, hints of incest, and of course, The Devil. Because here he comes.

Some things just can not be unseen...
This was an odd movie. At times, Here Comes the Devil is an eerie and unsettling affair, its atmosphere being one of genuine dread and foreboding. At other times, the movie borders on being cheesy and nearly laughable. We have to believe that the cheesier parts of the movie -such as the awful levitation scene- were intentionally cheesy, though we couldn't imagine why Adrian Garcia Bogliano would want to gunk up his otherwise solid works in such a way, and especially intentionally.

From the outset, this movie reminded us a lot of Picnic at Hanging Rock (read our Review); a classic movie about a group of young girls that go exploring a mountain, only to never return. Where Hanging Rock is an ethereal exercise in minimalism, though, Here Comes the Devil becomes more of a revenge movie. Then again, the ending of HCTD negates the need for any sort of revenge, so, maybe it's really more of a different spin on your average "possession" flick.Maybe it's both.

She's obviously possessed by the need for revenge.
There's all sorts of nudity and sexuality on display here, as well as a few truly disturbing scenes of gory violence, so on a visceral level, this movie definitely delivers the goods. It's also a very creepy movie throughout, even if there was no supernatural reckoning at the end as we'd hoped there would be.

Where the movie does lose some points, is in the fact that for all of its great atmosphere, and a pretty solid set-up, there's really no big payoff at the end. We liked it just fine, but with all of the craziness that had come earlier in the movie, we just expected it to finish just as crazy, but instead were left feeling a bit underwhelmed by where the story ended up going.

Why so blue?
We don't want to spoil the movie's reveals, but once we understood what was going on with the children (and the story in general), we just wished it would have lead to something more. There was really no nefarious endgame to what befell the kids and their family. Well, there was, but maybe we just wanted some sort of crazy and creepy finale or something. Maybe it was all just more subdued than we had anticipated.

Maybe we just wanted The Devil to show up, because they did, after all, tell us that he was coming.

No, the kids are most definitely not alright.
Here Comes the Devil is an entertaining and effective movie, even if it didn't deliver in the way that we expected it to. It's on VOD now, and is definitely worth the $7.99 you'll pay if you can't wait until March when it hits Blu/DVD. However you choose to see it, it's definitely worth a few hours of your time.


In addition to being an actress, the muy caliente Laura Caro is apparently quite the singer as well. Who knew?

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