Release Date: March 17th.
Written and Directed by: Sean Byrne.
Starring: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Kiara Glasco.
Way back in 2009, writer/director Sean Byrne gave us his first film, and one that we consider to be a modern-day classic, The Loved Ones (review HERE.) Why it took him 7 years to follow that up with The Devil's Candy, I have no idea, but after seeing his sophomore effort, I have no problem with him taking another 7 years to make his third movie, because he apparently knows what he's doing.
*There might be very mild spoilers below, but I'll keep the plot details to a minimum so as not to spoil.
Satanic whispers that echo throughout his head, urging him to do bad things, a creepy guy plays the same note (or maybe it was 2?) on a Gibson Flying V guitar over and over again, at maximum volume. Pissed off in that he's dong this in the dead of night, his sister threatens to tell their Dad on him, and he beats her to death.
|ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS ROCK (FOR SATAN.)|
|CREEPY OR NOT, ART IS ART.|
|UNDER SATAN'S SPELL?|
That family dynamic at work here is what makes the movie work so well though. There's no forced family drama between any of them, which is a massive plus for us, seeing as how the kids in these kinds of movies always tend to be moody and edgy to the point of us hating them. No, this family, while not perfect, loves each other, and they make us like them... which makes watching what they go through especially harrowing.
Ethan Embry. What do I say about this guy? With movies like Dutch, Empire Records, and Can't Hardly Wait, he established himself as the likable, funny kid, but somewhere in the mid 00's, he started showing up in movies like Vacancy, Cheap Thrills, and The Guest (not to mention playing Declan in the excellent, Brotherhood), and we really got to see his range. His performance in The Devil's Candy is so natural and good that it felt like, at least from our perspective, this was the role that he was born to play. Like Jesse is who Ethan Embry is in real life; a cool dude to hang with. He just rocked this one.
And let us not forget the awesome Pruitt Taylor Vince, who has made a career out of playing quirky and creepy characters, because he was about flawless here too. Play a terrifying character who kills kids for Satan, and still make us feel some sympathy for him? That's talent. And for someone so young, Kiara Glasco seems like someone who is in control of her craft. Add Shiri Appleby to the mix, and this is a cast that took some already great material, and elevated it with their performances.
|HEAVY METAL BRINGS FAMILIES TOGETHER.|
|OH, THERE WILL BE NIGHTMARES.|
|IT'S JUST A FINGER. RELAX.|
|THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THOSE CROSSES...|
|YOU DON'T JUST SMASH A GIBSON FLYING V LIKE THAT!|
This is absolutely a contender for movie of the year already, and while I have no doubt that plenty of other great ones will come along and dazzle us in different ways, The Devil's Candy is not one that we'll forget.
The Devil's Candy is in limited theaters, and is available on VOD now.
Shiri Appleby is still as lovely as ever, and Kiara Glasgow is bound to be a Hollywood beauty for years to come.