Here Comes the Devil
Review by Charlie Tarabour
“Here Comes The Devil” has a title beckoning the Dark One and all his minions. Lush with Satanic expectation, this movie takes its time to build into a surprising slow-burn psychological drama before to it goes down to Hell. It has enough carnally disturbing events to counter the family drama and still be easily called a horror film. But it pulses with genuine fear cultivated by that drama.
The movie portrays evil’s entrance into the lives of a pair of petit bourgeois Mexican parents who lose their kids one day outside Tijuana. The fear of losing children is perhaps the hardest to bear and this dread-laced first act sets a tone of helpless despair not unlike soap operas or cop shows.
The kids return (not alone, of course). But still, “Here Comes The Devil” invests more time in the parents’ dealing with their own personal demons than with the very literal demons contained within their children. And here, the movie postulates how evil can come into people’s lives without supernatural assistance. I found the movie fascinating for that. It really takes its time to unpack the problems of this family in light of supernatural trauma but what the parents think for so long is, yes some horrible and traumatic, but not necessarily supernatural. The balancing act between horror and drama is well executed (pun intended).
Bringing such contrasting Satanic, sexual violence into play with these softer moments, though, especially when children are involved, can be tricky. But the kids are actually never shown committing any number of horrendous acts that propel the story. “Here Comes The Devil” manages to deal with puberty, incest and any number of other iffy taboos without seeming too exploitative…at least not in a bad way. Maybe the movie douses itself in enough Catholic guilt to atone for where it goes and where it doesn’t.
The strength of this balance is also testament to the economical techniques of the filmmakers not just in the well-staged dramatic scenes, but the evocative supernatural ones as well. These differently-charged scenes play off another to invite you to fill in the blank for what the Devil can actually do to a pair of innocent children while their mother and father argue in a hotel room and curse each other to Hell. The movie invites you to imagine the ecstatic joining of two black spirits in a most revolting act of irreversible familiarity. The movie invites you to be still and invites you to recoil. The movie invites you to experience shocking procreation, love and death. The movie invites you like it invites the Devil.
Directed by: Adrián García Bogliano
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Run Time: 97 Minutes
Distributor: MPI Media Group