Devil's Due (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Written by||Lindsay Devlin|
|Edited by||Rod Dean|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$36.9 million|
Devil's Due is a 2014 American found footage psychological horror film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and written by Lindsay Devlin. The film stars Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, and Sam Anderson. The film was released on January 17, 2014.
A young couple, Zach and Samantha McCall, are about to get married when Zach decides he wants to document their life together since Sam was raised in foster homes and doesn't know much about her history or roots. After their wedding, they go to the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon. During Carnival, the couple meet a fortune teller (DeMaris Gordon), who declares Sam was "born from death" and repeats to Sam that "they have been waiting" for her. Creeped out, the couple quickly leave. On their way out, a strange man (the leader of a cult) watches them. They get lost on the way home and a cab driver (Roger Payano) offers to take them to a local club. There are numerous strange symbols marking the area on their way there and before they enter, the strange man from the fortune teller's watches them from afar. At the club, the same man from fortune teller's (leader of the cult) watches them and speaks with the cab driver (both cult members). Unaware they are being trapped, the couple is drugged and taken to an underground chamber beneath the nightclub where a ritual is performed and an unseen force fills the room.
The next morning, Zach and Sam wake in their hotel with no memory of the previous night.
A couple of weeks after the honeymoon, Sam discovers she's pregnant despite claiming to have taken birth control pills "religiously" ever since the wedding. Though shocked, Zach and Samantha are overjoyed and tell their family and friends the news. The couple later attend their first ultrasound scan where the doctor says that the baby looks healthy and Sam is due by the end of March. At that moment, the ultrasound screen goes static but recovers after a moment. Throughout the course of her pregnancy, Sam begins to experience nosebleeds, stomach bruising, cravings for raw meat (despite being a vegetarian) superhuman strength, telekinetic abilities and unexplained feelings of rage whenever she or the baby appear to be threatened. Also, Zach and Sam keep seeing odd-looking people watching them from afar. Sam becomes convinced something is seriously wrong with the baby and that they are being watched. After a second visit to the doctor, a new doctor (Robert Aberdeen) appears and performs an amnio after Sam appears nauseous. He has no answer as to the whereabouts of their original doctor and the couple is suspicious.
Before the couple return home, masked men who are part of the cult set up hidden cameras inside their home to monitor her progress and make sure she doesn't hurt the baby.
When Sam is eight months pregnant, the couple attend a holy communion at their church. Their usually friendly niece (Madison Wolfe) is oddly scared of Sam now and the priest (Sam Anderson) who officiated Zach and Sam's wedding looks at Sam during the service and violently coughs up blood. Later at home, when Zach is reviewing the communion footage he filmed, he sees the mysterious cab driver from their honeymoon sitting in a pew. He visits the priest in the hospital, who explains the symbol is related to summoning the Antichrist and warns Zach that the symbol is the gateway for the Antichrist and that the followers of the cult will dress the house in ash to prepare for the arrival. After he finds ash all over his house (and the cops won't do anything), Zach chases the people watching their house and finds out where they are living. He asks his sister, Suzie to stay with Sam while he breaks into the supposedly abandoned house at the end of his street where the cult is staying and there he finds the CCTV footage of his house and the missing ultrasound. He is almost caught by the cult when he goes to leave. Performing the ritual with the other cult members is the McCall's mysterious second doctor, as well as the man who has been watching their house and the cult leader (who they initially saw at the fortune teller's place and later at the club). Zach barely manages to escape, he has to avoid the cab driver on his way out.
Upon returning home, Zach finds the house surrounded by the masked men who have been watching them all along.
Inside, he finds Suzie dead and hears Sam scream as the house is being destroyed by some unseen force. He finds Sam in the baby's nursery standing in a trance-like state with a knife to her stomach (the knife was a mysterious gift at her baby shower). She's standing atop the cult symbol that she has carved into the floor secretly. Zach screams for her to stop, but she presses the knife to her stomach anyway and there is a violent blast of light. When Zach recovers, he finds Sam lying in her own blood with her stomach cut. She cries and wonders if the baby is all right before dying. Zach breaks down in grief before the cab driver and the second doctor appear. Zach begs the intruders to leave them alone, but the doctor takes the baby regardless. The baby glows a deep red as he takes it from Sam's body. The cult takes his camera and tapes, removing all evidence. Zach is arrested and interrogated by the police about the death of his wife and sister and disappearance of his child, crimes for which he looks guilty.
The ending shows another young couple, on their honeymoon in Paris, where the same cab driver offers them a lift.
- Zach Gilford as Zach McCall
- Allison Miller as Samantha McCall
- Sam Anderson as Father Thomas
- Madison Wolfe as Brittany
- Aimee Carrero as Emily
- Vanessa Ray as Suzie
- Michael Papajohn as Police Officer
- Griff Furst as Keith
- Robert Belushi as Mason
- Donna Duplantier as Dr. Ludka
On December 18, 2012, Fox announced that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett would be directing Devil's Due, based upon a script written by Lindsay Devlin. Fox had approached the two directors (who are part of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence) based upon their short 10/31/98 in the 2012 horror anthology V/H/S.
Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett had been approached by several other companies for "haunted house projects" but chose to work on Devil's Due over the other projects because they felt that the script was a character based "creepy mood piece" that focused on the deteriorating relationship between its two main characters. In an interview, the directors said they "focused on Zach & Samantha's love story from day one and the horror of watching the person you love degenerate, and being left helpless beyond continuing to love them unconditionally."
The script had been pitched to them as "a found-footage take on Rosemary's Baby," but the directors wanted to find ways to make their movie different from the 1968 film that they both praise and consider a personal favorite. This included instilling "a fun energy throughout" and "a sense of humor into the script."
Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett chose to shoot the film primarily with a Sony PMW-EX3, which they chose so that the film's actors could carry it throughout the film. The Canon 5D, Canon Vixia HF G10 and an iPhone 5 were also used in the production.
Fox released its first trailer for the film on October 16, 2013, and a second trailer on December 5, 2013. Whereas the initial marketing campaign focused the intimate thriller aspects of the McCall's love story, later marketing concentrated specifically on the larger horror facets of the film.
On January 14, prior to the release of the film, Fox promoted the movie by releasing a video of footage of an animatronic baby carriage and demon baby scaring passers-by in New York City. The video went viral shortly thereafter and has had over 20 million views as of January 17, 2014.
Critical reception has been negative. The film currently holds a rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 49 reviews, with a rating average of 4 out of 10. The film's consensus reads: "Derivative and mostly uninspired, Devil's Due adds little to either the found-footage or horror genres that it's content to mimic." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" from critics.
Much of the film's criticism centered upon the film's similarity to other films such as Rosemary's Baby and Paranormal Activity, an element that Fearnet reviewer Scott Weinberg remarked was likely more due to decisions by the film's production company than anything else. Weinberg called the movie "a darkly passionate homage to Rosemary's Baby, the similarities are both intentional and affectionate," and Bloody Disgusting gave the film a favorable review, praising the acting of its lead characters, the sense of humor and drawing positive comparisons to the directors' earlier work on V/H/S.
However, since initial release the film has found a cult following and director Eli Roth has been vocal in his support of the film and in a series of posts on his official Twitter account, wrote "Don't pre-judge Devil's Due because Rosemary's Baby is a 'holy grail' movie. It's so smart, creative, inventive, and fun. Very very scary. The guys at Radio Silence killed it. Devil's Due is a legit scary, smart, horror film. So many awesome scenes. I loved it."
Use of "found footage"
Common criticism aimed is at the film's use of "found footage" and asks the question "who assembled this footage?". However, according to the film's directors this was a deliberate choice, "Audiences are way too smart to have the this is real found footage wool pulled over their eyes anymore," and much like Chronicle, "Devil's Due doesn't pretend to be footage that anyone has found or compiled, it's simply a story told through cameras that exists in that world. In that sense, it's a bit of an experiment that we were able to have fun with and as the character's [sic] lives spiral out of control, we're able to mirror that journey visually by shifting to different POVs. The movie begins very bright, very intimate and full of movement, but as the watchers close in our couple we shifted to a lot more of the static cameras that exsist in the world, like the security cameras, with much wider frames. We hoped to use that distance and coldness to mirror the despair and hopelessness that was tearing the couple apart." The film intentionally breaks many found footage conventions throughout, including the deliberate absence of a framing device (such as "these tapes were found by the police"), the use of an animated opening quote, a recognizable cast, a non-chronological narrative structure and a music cue becomes the end-credits song.
|1.||"Once Upon a Time"||Robert Bradley||The Gaslight Anthem|
|2.||"I Belong to You"||Leon Silver||Mallory Sands|
|3.||"Bridal Chorus"||Richard Wilhelm Wagner|
|4.||"Love Me Tender"||Elvis Presley and Vera Matson||Jordan Rippe|
|5.||"No More Words"||John Crawford||Berlin|
|6.||"As You Were"||Daniel Andriano, Matt Skiba, Glenn Porter||Alkaline Trio|
|7.||"Tenderness"||Micky Billingham, Roger Charlery, Dave Wakeling||General Public|
|8.||"Be Mine"||Herb Alpert and Frank D'Amico||The McCall Twins|
|9.||"Quieren Brilla"||Manuel Ariel Ciprian||El Aria|
|10.||"The Oogum Boogum Song"||Alfred Smith||Brenton Wood|
|11.||"Devil's Alibaba"||Adolfo Guerrero and Aliosha Michelen||Edgar Molina|
|12.||"Devil's Batucada"||Adolfo Guerrero and Aliosha Michelen||Edgar Molina|
|13.||"Nadie Pone Pero"||Adolfo Guerrero and Aliosha Michelen||Adelobo|
|14.||"Melma"||Wilson Padilla Almonte||Di Angelo|
|15.||"Eres Tan Barrial"||Wilson Padilla Almonte||Di Angelo|
|16.||"Que Lio"||Risa Encarnacion||La Bambola Slow|
|17.||"Wakala"||Wilson Padilla Almonte||Di Angelo|
|18.||"Cuckoo"||L. Stuart||Buddy Stuart|
|19.||"Shakin' Hands"||Sera Cahoone||Sera Cahoone|
|21.||"Five Treasures"||Christopher Lewis, Gaynor O'Flynn and Sachidanand Rauniyar|
|22.||"Home on the Range"|
|23.||"Beets Untitled"||Laura Anne Stevenson||Laura Stevenson & The Cans|
|24.||"I Like the Way You Love Me"||Alfred Smith||Brenton Wood|
|25.||"Holy Holy Holy"|
|26.||"Across the Wide Missouri"||Cash McCall|
|27.||"Chocolat"||Graham D.H. Preskett|
- "Devil's Due". British Board of Film Classification. December 10, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "Devil's Due (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.
- Kit, Borys (18 December 2012). "Fox Developing Female-Fronted Found Footage Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Uncle Creepy (15 October 2013). "20th Century Fox Breaks Radio Silence and Releases Devil's Due". Dread Central. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr. (1 March 2013). "‘Friday Night Lights’ Zach Gilford Lands ‘Devil’s Due’ Lead". Deadline.com. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Working on Devil's Due". Complex. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "'The Bitter Script Reader: A Chat With Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Co-Director of Radio Silence's DEVIL'S DUE (Part One)'". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Jimenez, Christopher (8 January 2014). "Radio Silence speaks at 'DEVIL'S DUE' event". Fangoria. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- Anderton, Ethan (5 December 2013). "Second Trailer for Satan's Found Footage Pregnancy in 'Devil's Due'". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "The Trailer for Horror Thriller Devil's Due". ComingSoon.net. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Devil Baby Attack". Youtube. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Watch: ‘Baby’ terrorises New Yorkers in stunt for horror film Devil’s Due". EuroNews. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Devil's Due". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Devil's Due (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Devil's Due Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- MACNAB, GEOFFREY. "Devil's Due: Film review – shock tactics are combined with subtlety and humour". Independent (UK). Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Devil's Due, Mother(s)care". Empire Online. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Weinberg, Scott. "Devil's Due (review)". Fearnet. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "'Devil's Due' Delivers Some Surprisingly Bloody Goods". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Roth, Eli (6 December 2013). "Don't pre-judge #DevilsDue because Rosemary's Baby is a holy grail movie. It's so smart, creative, inventive, and fun. Very very scary.". Twitter. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- Roth, Eli (6 December 2013). "The guys at @HiRadioSilence killed it. #DevilsDue is a legit scary, smart, horror film. So many awesome scenes. I loved it.". Twitter. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "'The Bitter Script Reader: A Chat With Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Co-Director of Radio Silence's DEVIL'S DUE (Part Two)'". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Radio Silence (14 January 2014). "we're excited to have music from @gaslightanthem @Alkaline_Trio & @laurastevenson in devil's due! #DevilsDue". Twitter. Retrieved 15 January 2014.