Director Daniel Falicki, best known for delivering low-budget, solid films on time, such as the case with Devils in the Darkness and Aeon: The Last Vampyre on Earth both in 2013, and this time with Warren Croyle serving in his normal respectful position of executive producer, comes a religious horror film from Sector 5 films; though the story is from Ryan Lieske and Matt Simpson Siegel, the impact plays more to an interpretation of images upon the screen for one to experience the horrors of the devil’s power to corrupt.
The first thing you will notice of this production, only to main actors portrayed the Dopple brothers, first Tom (Matt Simpson Siegel) and then Vern, a mute wheelchair bound man, (Jason Roth (Accidental Exorcist )), these two carry the entire weight of the film, and never crumble. As stated, the film relies on an incredible amount of imagery and with that comes great wonderment in the movie; a supposedly civilized world actually blends as a hellish one, with demons hidden in the shadows and nightmares plaguing the innocent. A world in which a handicap and muted Vern lost to all, ignored and despised, but has a brother’s love, starts to see words that he is chosen, and ivory towers of wealth look like giants ready stomp out the insignificance peons. However, the who and why mystery remains, though to horror fans, especially that enjoy religious elements, the easily attacked and manipulated individuals usually tend for the homeless, such as in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness (1987). Tom and Vern seek safety as night approaches and pick an abandoned building for cover, a floor covered with sheets of paper and not much else, nevertheless, once chosen, no escape will assist one. Herein, trapped in another universe, Vern, other sense giving him more enlightenment, tries valiantly to communicate via his chalk and board, that all clues represent Satan, Tom though dismisses it all. Soon enough they both find themselves in a world of darkness, shadows, and demon succubus attacking them, in what becomes a cult’s lair for awakening the devil, a defining moment of the bloody pentagram revealed under their feet. Roth truly does an excellent performance using his facial expressions to convey the horrors and moments plaguing his mortal soul, in a battle of centuries of demons and the devil seeking a rebirth.
Sadly, the devil’s strategy compared to others in numerous other movies, tends for more an empty plan, as if these two are somehow, petty toys, very incidents or persuasions occur, an interesting concept on paper fails to convey correctly on the screen. One would think to entice these men to give into the devil, selling their souls, a better offering laid before them, hence wealth, or even granting Vern the abilities to talk and walk. A keen aspect, of these two men, aside from the actors working off each other cues, comes from the inaccurate display of photographic layered backgrounds, rather than just a room of green screens and countless CGI images. As the brothers try to understand they realize they are trapped, proverbial locked inside, reaching a deeper meaning of the brothers locking out god, silently cursing him for their plight, with Tom surrounding himself of vices, and embracing the darkness in life, thereby inviting the awaking of the devil.
A mixture of art backdrops and digital effects, result in a bit of mayhem for the viewer to enjoy, such as the blurring of images of people on the streets, though one might infer that the dual layer actual represents the good and evil in people themselves. The pacing begins a troublesome path, grinding to a sluggish pace, making it very difficult to follow the storyline, which affects the creepiness and emotional conveyance of dread.
Overall the entire movie provides all the necessary pieces, though a tad short on running time, the accompanying soundtrack ads volumes to the film, thanks largely to the music from the gothic band The March Violets. This movie, not entirely a horror film, and has no true blood loss, the creepiness echoes volumes, it focuses more to fans of silent films, and definitely those with acting dreams, and lastly the those who want art-house religious horror.
This review was originally published in June 2015 on Rogue Cinema’s now defunct website and accumulated a view count of 1,843.
IMDb Rating: 3.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.0/10