Thursday, June 1, 2017
THE DEVIL'S CANDY
Written & Directed By: Sean Byrne
Cinematography By: Simon Chapman
Editor: Andy Canny
Cast: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Kiara Glasco, Tony Amendola, Leland Orser, Jamie Tisdale
A struggling painter is possessed by satanic forces after he and his young family move into their dream home in rural Texas, in this creepy haunted-house tale
The film was made in 2015 and finally released in the United States this year.
I for one am thankful that director Sean Byrne has made another film. Not quite as twisted as THE LOVED ONES. Which I personally loved, This film THE DEVIL'S CANDY. (not to be confused with the book about the making of BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES that has the same title) While short is disturbing in it's own right. Even though the story feels familiar. The film makes it it's own. The cast charming chemistry and the creeping dread throughout pushes this movie to heights that work in it's favor. As well as the audiences. It's a smaller horror film that feels like something special. Though it more a thriller as there isn't as much violence as expected. It's pretty cut and dry. Starring an unrecognizable Ethan Embry.
The film works off the power of suggestion but in a stronger non PG-13 horror type way. Trust me it's way darker and creepy as hell.
Though once again rural still stylized but not in a pretentious obnoxious way. It rarely calls attention to itself. At first it seems like the film might go the way of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. Luckily it doesn't and turns out to be a much stronger less cliched and expected film. It matches to it's own beat.
What is so powerful is how full of joy and happiness, despite some horrific scenes that they are not involved in. We practically admire them and watch how devastated they are by this constant turn of events. What they are going through and how it is destroying them.
This film is more a heavy metal inspired type of horror film. But as strong and gratuitous but uses the music as kind of a guide rather than atmosphere. Though it rocks, it seems to be more the melodic instrumental type of metal that is until towards the end and some of the more action oriented scenes.
When to think you know what way it is going it proceeds but as it reaches it’s conclusion there is a slight surprise that makes it all the more enriching
The film is more of a small scale thriller. Not too many cast members or locations.
Even making his meeting with an art dealer seem all the more sinister and evil. He seems like someone who knows more than he is letting on, Like that is a separate evil organization to deal with that makes less sense than the evil he might be facing now. The supporting characters seem nefarious and sinister.
Ethan Embry feels like a major physical change as here he is not only ripped but given a long haired wig that makes him look like a rock star from the 90's only a decade later. We are never quite sure if his character is possessed angel of mercy or delivery person from hell with an agenda of destruction You can't exactly tell. Even though when normal seems at first laid back to growing eventually into an apologetic sad sack. Don't know if I am getting older but one of the few times I was actually rooting for the victims to get away, maybe as some of them were children that instinct took over.
Pruitt Taylor Vince is always good at playing disturbed psychopaths. Nice to see him on screen again. Though this one seemed especially vicious and scary. Even if it seems he can't help himself.
The film works in a moody atmosphere.
Every inch of this movie provides a creepiness. Even in the more innocent scenes. Which shows a strong direction by Sean Byrne. Where he shows he still has the skills and offers up a different but still an effective horror thriller. This one a bit more psychological Thant the last which seemed to be more visceral.