Here Comes the Devil (2012)
June 4, 2015 7:33 PM - Subscribe

A married couple's children disappear on a day trip into the mountains outside Tijuana. That's bad. Then they come back. That's worse.

This is part of the MeFi Horror Club series. More info on MeFi Horror Club.
posted by kittens for breakfast (5 comments total)
I don't know if I'd necessarily watch it again, but - for those who like their films to deliver an espresso-strong jolt of "OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!" - Here Comes the Devil sure as hell delivers. I expected it to be more lurid and pulpy, but it was actually (despite the flagrant gore) kind of like a childhood nightmare... woozy and dreamy and viscerally upsetting.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:48 AM on June 5, 2015

Some of the filmmaking was very retro-70s in an appealing way (the crash-zooms, most specifically). I was picking up a Picnic at Hanging Rock vibe much of the time...Someone in an IMDb comment I read right after watching it said it was like if Jess Franco had directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, I thought that pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I'm liking it a bit more thinking back on it now (I watched it yesterday) than I did immediately after it ended...While it was happening I was trying to maintain an overview of what I considered to be the purpose of everything, and I kept bumping into things that didn't quiet gel with other things...Mainly I thought that the possibility that the metaphor was "Once children reach maturity, they no longer need their parents, and isn't that a rough transition for the parents" was interesting, but so much of it was so specifically sexual that it felt like there must be another aspect I was missing. I really had not anticipated that opening scene when I pushed play, and I'm still not sure I know why it was given such a headline spotlight as the lead-off to this movie (other than the obvious titillation factor)...At least later they had a (thin, thin) thread beyond the intro to the serial killer to tie it to the rest, by making the victim the daughter of the gas station guy. I presume that the other woman's shame at her homosexual dalliance was the real takeaway from that scene...I just wish if they were going to focus on it for that long there was more to those characters going forward.

The main thing that pulled me out of the movie later on was the parents hunting down and brutally murdering (throat-tearing!!) the weirdo that they thought had molested the kids. The only thing that I can come up with to try to make that scene make sense is that the kids themselves, who are later confirmed to be demons, are never portrayed as doing anything nearly that brutal, so I presume the movie could be saying that humans are as capable of horrible things as actual monsters are. Or were the parents temporarily possessed while they were near the evil place in the rocks? I don't know, I'm still parsing it all out...In any case, that scene made me really dislike the protagonists for a good portion of the movie.

I thought it was hilarious at the end when the demon-dad didn't quite know how to drive...Not sure if that was supposed to be funny, but it worked for me on that level so I'll go with it.

So, I did end up with a lot of nitpicks...Overall I appreciated the vibe while not totally loving the movie, but I may give it another chance later...I'm certain that there were important things that I missed.
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2015

That is certainly one way to open a movie.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on June 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's been a while since I watched this, and I didn't really feel like watching it again now, but I remember kind of hating it. The faux-seventies shtick feels forced and mannered to me, the acting is stiff, the sex scenes lurid and exploitative (especially the lesbian scene in the beginning, which had just about nothing to do with the rest of the film), etc. There are several good, interesting ideas here, several of which could have worked in a better movie, but here they just meander, the missing/replaced kids vs. the serial killer vs. the revenge murdering parents and so on and on and on.

A tip to the director: Figure out what movie you want to make and how it all fits together next time before you start.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:44 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

This was interesting . . . . I wouldn't quite say that the supernatural elements were "pasted on", but like 80% of this movie was almost-but-not-quite an effective low budget noir (about the parents' decision to murder their childrens' "molester" and the aftermath), no demonic possession required. And the supernatural parts seemed to have most of the kinda cheesy bits; the crash zooms and the pointless shots of a hill full of rocks and the worst parts of the score.

IOW, about halfway through the flick I started thinking, "Ditch the "devil" nonsense and you're most of the way to a suburban Mexican Blood Simple."

I'll definitely be checking out some of the writer/director's other work (although the IMDB descriptions of his other films do kind of make me think he's got a habit of making movies that merge or cross genres not entirely successfully.) We'll see.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:00 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

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