Rated: R for language and some bloody images. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: January 17, 2014 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
Writer Leslie Devlin has developed a script which reminds us of Rosemary's Baby, but the presentation by directors, Matt Bettnelli-Olpuib and Tyler Gillett, cover every action scene by using hand held cameras and twisted, distorted blurred scenes to the extent that we are unable to determine what is happening. That may have been done on purpose but it leaves the audience wondering what is happening and not fearful of the result as is expected in a thriller.
I hate hand held camera scenes particularly in horror or thriller films where like here, they are used to exhibit a screen of nothing which I suspect is to make us think about what may be happening. It doesn't work.
Allison Miller and Zach Gilford are a joyously happy young couple. It doesn't matter that she has no past and he has a large happy encouraging family. We immediately wonder if she is The Bad Seed, We quickly learn that she is just the carrier of the little devil.
Unlike Rosemary's Baby, that was filled with interesting questionable characters, a powerful dramatic script, a young woman who we wanted to protect, Devil's Due carries us through a fun filled courtship and a loving wedding that leads to a honeymoon in Latin America where a curiously dangerous party is attended at the urging of a cab driver they don't know played by, Roger Payano. What happened that night is not revealed but she does suddenly become pregnant when they return home. Rosemary's Baby carefully exhibited the ritual of the devil's seed being planted in the innocent young woman, it was the key powerful scene in the film.
With nothing to base the unwanted act which Miller's character must have been put through, we are only allowed to see her changing her reaction to friends, relatives and even her husband. She becomes dangerous punching out windows in a car that nearly backed into her and as time passes sending doors and other solid objects flying around the rooms in her home. She forgets her pledge not to eat meat and takes on a pound of raw hamburg while shopping in a grocery store.
Her doctor suddenly is gone and a new one as dull and uncommitted as possible suddenly replaces her. She is clearly in trouble as she becomes increasingly introverted and hiding in bed. Her presence in church fouls the priest who falls spitting blood. That reminds us of Damian from The Omen. The priest also warns that the antichrist is coming, and we know where he is.
When the big smash up scene arrives all we get is blurred hand held camera scenes which make no sense. We fee cheated. Much more so if we are aware of the powerful Rosemary's Baby that makes Devil's Due look insincere, and unworthy as a thriller.