Here Comes The Devil Review
The FilmEvil is a very tempting explanation for things we can't or don't understand. Whensomething very bad happens, a mysterious and organising force is a go-to reason for those of us who don't want to fight against the "inevitable", or perhaps wish to excuse our own failure in events. For those who employ the evil explanation, bad things come from a governing intelligence - when Dubya talked of evil-doers he meant that his enemies were in league with the devil and, when Muslim militants picketed embassies after the Abu Ghraib scandal, they didn't bother with association simply calling the USA the Great Satan.For Adrián García Bogliano's tenth feature, the devil is invoked metaphorically and literally. We begin with a home invasion where a machete wielding assailant is fought off before disappearing to the hills to merge with the soil. We then join a family enjoying the view from those hills - where Daddy and Mommy have some sticky funtime in a lay-by, and their kids disappear into the hills only to be returned subdued and changed the next morning. Their school says the children are playing hookey and Mum learns they are returning to the hills every day instead of learning. Cue suspicions of abuse, intimations of incest and supernatural baby-sitter defiling.
Therefore the action ticks off various "evils" before arriving at a very disturbing resolution. What happened in the hills could be the work of sick perverts, incestuous kids or something far, far worse. What is sure is that terrible events follow in the wake of the original disappearance as concerned parents take matters into their own hands before some maternal sleuthing reveals the true source of their problems.The ferocity of the events of the film and their graphic depiction really grabs you by the throat. This is a lusty meat-eating feast of violence, rutting and obscenity, choreographed with no little skill to create an intense ride by Bogliano. From the opening passionate embraces followed by lost digits to the twist ending, the atmosphere of his film is febrile bordering on rabid.
Enjoyed for this spirited momentum, the plot holes and lack of clarity in key moments can be excused. Like many before him, the director has set out to convince that dark forces live and threaten, and he succeeds by making the film gritty, part domestic drama and part fantastical horror. The sex plays to both the gallery and the tone of the film and this horror is a very adult one with both the images shown and the topics touched upon.Proving that Guillermo Del Toro isn't the sum total of Mexican film-makers to follow, Here Comes The Devil will encourage many to chase down the rest of the films of Bogliano's career - myself included.
The DiscJust released and very affordably priced, Metrodome give the film an extras free presentation at 2.35:1 which I guess is the original aspect ratio given Bogliano's previous films. This properly converted PAL transfer is quite lovely, extremely film-like with terrific detail and natural contours to all shapes on view. The colour balance seems near perfect and the black levels are extremely well judged. Few standard definition transfers will look as good. The serious annoyance is the inclusion of burnt in subs. They translate the dialogue well and they're easy to read but denying the opportunity to remove them, or in the case of some, to vary the position and size of them is not well done. The sound is good otherwise, clear and mastered at good bit-rates and including stereo and 5.1 mixes that really help with the locations of cave or home under psychic attack.
SummaryCracking Mexican horror with great video quality and burnt-in subs.
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