Review: Here Comes the Devil / Cert: TBC / Director: Adrian Garcia Bogliano / Screenplay: Adrian Garcia Bogliano / Starring: Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez / UK Release Date: TBC
Missing children, mad curses, sexual hysteria and blood curdling cries of anguish play out disturbingly well in this chilling, atmospheric horror. Here Comes the Devil is an homage to Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and in the same vein as other influential 1970s mystery horror such as Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now with hints of Jodorowsky in appearance, setting and excessiveness. Spanish Director, Adrian Garcia Bogliano has set this story in Tijuana – a place that takes superstition and stories about el diablo seriously – and he uses the setting to great effect. The desolate hills full of mysterious caves hiding dark secrets make for an eerie playground to explore and get lost in.
On a family trip to the hills two children Sara (Michele Garcia) and Aldofo (Alan Martinez) go off walking on their own and disappear. Their parents Felix (Francisco Barreiro) and Sol (Laura Caro) spend a night worrying for their safety but they return unharmed a day later. When their behaviour changes and they start to develop strange habits their parents begin to question what exactly happened that fearful night in the hills. Who else was there that night and what did they do to their innocent children?
As Felix and Sol try to get to the truth they point the finger at an easy target, a local delivery man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bob from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. But as they search for a monster they themselves turn into something terrible. Increasingly weird moments play out inducing frenzy in the characters and forcing them to commit terrible acts.
A film that has to be taken on the merit of what it is trying to achieve, which is confusion and an unsettling atmosphere, all accomplished with unusual camera work, piercing sound effects and loud music. Dramatic zooms and extreme close-up shots of faces are interweaved with quieter moments to create an air of mystery and suspense. The opening scene sets an uneasy and startling tone straight away. An intense lesbian sex scene and a machete laden mad man on the search for fingers open up the lunacy that is about to unfold on the screen extremely well. Shifting between calm and distressing in tone, there is actually method in the madness as it builds psychological tension.
Bogliano uses techniques to unsettle and unnerve the audience in this investigation into human behaviour and the many faces of evil and he reaches palpable heights. Disorientating, disturbing viewing that will set your heart racing and envelop you in its warped hysteria.
Expected Rating: 8 out of 10