Written, directed and produced by Jeremy Berg, The Device is a horror/sci-fi hybrid about two sisters, Abby and Rebecca, returning home after a long time away and deciding to revisit a place from their childhood with a husband, Calvin. As they walk through the woods to an open lake, they notice and discover a small, black, spherical object lying on the ground. The three, tentatively, take the sphere home, but when terrifying things begin to happen to them, including severe nightmares, they soon start to regret having ever found it.
The film appears to be in the mould of the traditional alien abduction movies like 2009’s The Fourth Kind, with elements of Under the Skin and Rosemary’s Baby thrown in for good measure. At one point Rebecca says this is like an X-Files story, but it’s not, mainly because The X-Files was great and had stories that were coherent and cut to the chase. This is a three-hander with perfectly adequate performances and the whole thing is well shot with strong atmosphere, but it is ultimately quite boring. This feels way too slow, which would be okay if it had pace, but it doesn’t. It plods along, and while there are glimpses of a good idea in there, you wish that the film would just get to the point.
To be fair, it’s admirable that Berg decided to make an alien movie that focused very little on the aliens and much more on the people who were being affected by the unfortunate and coincidental events as we watched everything unfold before us. But yet you get the sense that you have some of these ideas done before and done so much better. There are no big sci-fi questions posed or presented here, and there’s no horror to go with that either. Plus, it has one of the worst alien makeups of all time as you can clearly tell it’s a bloke in a suit.
In the end, The Device does have three decent performances and solid cinematography, but the positives easily get lost in a sea of problems. The pacing is far too slow and meandering, it’s unfortunately clichéd, and it does feel like the old case of being all build-up but no payoff. Frankly, The Fourth Kind is a coherent success in comparison with this.
Special Features: TBC
THE DEVICE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JEREMY BERG / SCREENPLAY: JEREMY BERG, JOHN PORTANOVA / STARRING: ANGELA DI MARCO, DAVID S. HOGAN, KATE ALDEN, GABRIEL CONGDON / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 23RD