October 21, 2015

VOD Review: The Diabolical (2015)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3603808/
I'm not sure why this movie reminded me so much of The Entity (1982), but with the scientific bent that the story took, along with the light flashes, I couldn't help making the comparison... even as off-base as it may be.

Of course The Diabolical is a completely different type of Haunted House movie than The Entity is, and honestly, it's one of the more different entries in that sub-genre that we've ever seen. So love it or hate it, you have to at least give this movie credit for going a wildly different way.

*There are some pretty big spoilers in the latter half of  this review, so read on with caution.
Single mother Madison is trying the best she can to make ends meet for her and her kids. It's bad enough that she's dealing with a son who has terrible anger issues, but she's also behind her mortgage on a house that seems to be haunted; a haunting that is growing increasingly more violent and dangerous, putting the safety of her kids in question. Her daughter seems cute and fairly well-adjusted though, so that's one good thing.

"WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE YOUR SISTER!"
As the paranormal occurrences get more and more harrowing, Madison turns to her science teacher boyfriend to help her figure out what in the hell is going on, and how to stop it. He sets up "scientific" camp in the house, hoping to use the tools of his trade to uncover the cause of everything, which as it turns out, is far more complicated than "ghosts are haunting your house."

I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S NOT COVERED BY THE WARRANTY.
Are the haunting occurrences a art of a bigger picture? Will Madison be able to keep her kids safe? Did Ali Larter sell her soul to the Devil so that she could remain hot well into her 40's? Far be it from us to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that we're pretty sure that Ali Larter is a real-life Angel of some sort.

THERE IS NOTHING NOT ANGELIC ABOUT HER.
We're all pretty familiar with Haunted House flicks that involve a family moving into a house, and being subjected to all kinds of paranormal terror. What sets The Diabolical apart from most of them though, is that it starts in the middle of the family's plight; there's no prolonged set-up that lets us see how wonderful this loving, All-American family is so that we can feel for them once the shit hits the fan; and there's also not a lot of backstory about the house, the family, or what's going on. Rest assured that we get that info later, and in a far more natural way, but it was nice not to be hit with the usual info dump at the beginning.

IN MEDIAS RES.
The Diabolical also takes a decidedly Sci-Fi turn about halfway through which basically upends the traditional Haunted House formula, and turns it into some sort of cross between... well, we're not going to say, because that would be too spoilery. Suffice it to say that this is a different movie that establishes and then plays by its own rules, and for that bold change of pace, we are thankful.

We also have to say that Ali Larter was great in this movie, and not just because she's gorgeous. The girl is a solid actress, and she pretty much carried this one on her shoulders. The kids were pretty convincing in their roles too.

THOSE DICE DID A REALLY NICE JOB OF LEVITATING AS WELL.
***HUGE ENDING SPOILERS! SKIP THIS SECTION OR ELSE!*** We do have to say that as fresh and different as the movie was, we didn't like where it ended up. The ending was alright I suppose, but it just didn't make a lot of sense to me. When we find out about the time-travel, and that Jacob is the monster, and that he was coming back through time for "revenge for his mother," my first thought was, What? Him coming back in time is the reason she got killed to begin with, so really, why wouldn't he just kill himself, and save her life?

Time-travel movies always tend to make little sense that way.

"GET AWAY FROM YOU, YOU!"
If nothing else, The Diabolical was a nice change of pace from the average Haunted House flick. It was well-made and clever in its own right, but it was really the direction that the story took in the back half that made if feel different, and to a certain extent, even fresh.

Of course if you don't but into the twist, you may end up thinking that this one was a bit of a letdown. We bought into it, and aside from an ending that we didn't exactly love, we're glad we took the time to see this one.

B-

The Diabolical is available now on VOD.

http://amzn.to/1M6gT0w

At almost 40-years-old, Ali Larter is still as hot as she ever was.

21 comments :

  1. Um, LMAO!!

    I think you need to re-watch the ending on this one. The 2 orderlies give all you need to know about this one.

    The adult kid was not going back for revenge. It was obvious that his mind was swiss cheese from all the experiments being done to him and the others that were sent through, like the guy in the washing machine(which was another of the subjects, and not the adult son)
    They told us that the kid got revenge on the company by trying to blow it up when he was a kid, and then had been in prison the rest of his life, By the time he was being sent back, he was and adult and all messed up. He adult self had no idea that he was in his own house and that was his mom.
    The went back with him into the future changed everything, and soon after she was sent back to the past, all healed and ready to set right by her son. Thus creating a cuasal loop. Not sure how they would resolve that, but its only a movie, and if I think too much about it, it just ruins the fun.

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  2. I just have one question because u do make sense and I understand the film much more now but y as a kid did he try to burn down the company,which company? If monster Jacob went to prison for the rest of his life as a kid and comes from the future to kill his mom again, he didn't know that was his mom, does his mom die the first time as a kid and doesn't come back is that y he tried to burn down the company in the first place?

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  3. So...is her brain a bit scrambled when she comes back? She has an odd expression when Jacob hugs her.

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  4. It looked like they may have scrambled her brain.. the whole thing was friggen confusing. And I'm sorry, who gives a shit whether she's hot? The movie sucked, there was no building of characters and it was a horrible plot. It would've just been better and less confusing if it was a normal haunting movie. All I can get out of that movie was... "What the fuck?" and that was two hours I'll never get back.

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    1. EXACTLY MY THOUGHTS WTF???

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    2. Waste of time. It could have been good if the writer/producer waited 40 years from now to release it!

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  5. Think he knew that was his mother. He seemed to listen to her, stop when she said, grabbed her weapons, rather than attempt to kill her in the beginning. He could have killed the boyfriend a couple of times too, but walked away. Started to remember stuff when he saw the items in the basement. I think...he came back, not her. That expression she made was the exact same one he made while on the table with the guards. Maybe the revenge was because they did foreclose on the house. I mean, he was an angry child. He tried to come back to warn or help her, but got mad when they fucked his ass up. Sliced Mom. Cut himself. Little boy didn't blink when cut. He knew that was him...Yeah, I was confused too...

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  6. I don't think the future/ghost Jacob was trying to kill anyone. All throughout the movie he only reached out to them and apparently he was able to communicate with Haley somehow. In the end I think he was only trying to defend himself from being attacked. His brain was too scrambled to have restraint or even communicate after his many quantum leaps.

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  7. I don't think the future/ghost Jacob was trying to kill anyone. All throughout the movie he only reached out to them and apparently he was able to communicate with Haley somehow. In the end I think he was only trying to defend himself from being attacked. His brain was too scrambled to have restraint or even communicate after his many quantum leaps.

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  8. I don't think the future/ghost Jacob was trying to kill anyone. All throughout the movie he only reached out to them and apparently he was able to communicate with Haley somehow. In the end I think he was only trying to defend himself from being attacked. His brain was too scrambled to have restraint or even communicate after his many quantum leaps.

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  9. So, if by sending the mom back to past Jacob, wouldn't that have prevented future Jacob from being taken to prison and put in the experiment? By sending her back healed he wouldn't have had any reason to blow up the company, thus not get arrested and sent for experiments. Also, why after they were touched by future Jacob were they not able to leave the house? This was never explained, and after they killed future Jacob and mom came back, were they able to leave?

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    1. I think you have the mom part right. I was mad when they didn't explain about the kids leaving the house too

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  10. It was complicated but i like that. Most movie's i watch now i can tell how it will end in the first ten mins. I like how this kept me guessing and i think there will be another or maybe a spinoff to better explain. I'm glad i watched it.

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  11. My take on it is this, Jacob as a kid, after his mom disappeared, must have tried to burn the company down because he heard the name when they found out who was doing all of it. Then he went to prison, where the company found him and recruited him. They scrambled his brain and used him to go back in time. He was trying to communicate with his family in the past but at the time they were probably still working out the kinks of bringing jacob all the way back in time, thus over the course of the movie him showing up better and better. His brain was so Scrambled it was just stuck in fight or flight mode when his family would attack him out of fear, but you can see when he goes in the basement he starts to remember the basement. But them attacking him brought him to his vegetative state and he started attacking out of again, fight or flight. Then when his mom goes back with him to the future, she heals and everything. Then goes back to the past. Possibly as a part of the company responsbile or possibly not. The ending left that open. But it would make sense that after time they were able to work out all of the kinks and she was able to go back in time in one piece exactly when and where she wanted to. I don't however, like this ending. I think they could have done better as far as what all happened. But who knows, maybe they were building for a second one to help explain what happened with her and with her kids in the time she was away. Again, this is all the way I saw the movie and made sense of it to myself.

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    1. I agree with your take on this movie

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  12. The company was working on teleportation only, not time travel. They had no idea they were sending him back 40 years. That's why when she went forward with him, she must've explained what was happening and they sent her back. However, the sending her back part is where the movie went wrong. They messed up the continuity of the whole movie by not competing the necessary cycle. She was supposed to stay gone, giving Jake a reason for revenge, thus competing the cycle. By not doing that, it voided the plot. Damn happy endings

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    1. But wouldn't it just be a tangent in the time line? Ala Star Trek 2009 or Donnie Darko?

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    2. That doesnt make sense, when she was sent back she didnt act like her normal self, you need to thoroughly watch how she reacts to Jacob, no emotion. She didnt kiss him, cry, she didnt even wrap her arms around him. She was robotic. This is why Jacob wanted revenge for his mother. The cycle is going to repeat.

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  13. When the mom got sent back she was different. She didnt show her normal emotions. Its likely something about her changed and thats what made Jacob want to destroy the company.

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  14. after watching this movie I was clueless but now that I've read all these comments I'm so filled in see I thought the monster was the dad that had left and when the mom want back with future Jacob she must've knew that was him because she was like patting him on the face of something

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