The filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence made themselves known with one of the better contributions to 2012's V/H/S, a horror anthology featuring some of the most creative talents in the genre. Devil's Due marks the group's first full-length feature, which like their segment on V/H/S, uses the found footage aesthetic to capture the occult. Satan worshipers are back again, but this time they're waiting patiently.
In the films opening, a handheld digital camcorder comes upon a lively house and peers through the window before following a female subject upstairs and into her bedroom. A clever and amusing homage to John Carpenter's Halloween, except the scene doesn't end in murder, but rather with Samantha jokingly yelling at her fiancé behind the camera, Zach, because he should know he's not supposed to see her the night before their wedding. However, tomorrow they start again as family and Zach wants to document every second of it.
After some fun in the sun in the Dominican Republic, Zach and Samantha's honeymoon starts to shift. They're drugged and dragged to a strange candle-lit ceremony only seen in brief flashes by the continuously recording camera in Samantha's purse. Waking up with a couple of hangovers and not remembering the end of their night, the couple gather their belongings and head back home. But of course, they bring a little souvenir.
For the most part, we get a video documentation of the couple's pregnancy. A horror in it's own right, I'm sure. But things aren't normal with this one. There's some decent scares, but the way they're executed brings nothing new to the genre, and never manages to instill an overall creepy tone. The film only really starts to grow when additional cameras are introduced into the story. Firstly, while the couple are out for a doctor's appointment, we see hooded men placing cameras throughout their home. Another is security camera footage, used exceptionally well in a gross-out grocery store scene. And lastly, when the story's perspective changes to some high school kids messing around in the woods, easily making itself the best scene in the film. Unfortunately there's 20+ minutes left.
While it's certainly not perfect, Devil's Due is one of the better examples of found footage that I've seen. Breathing new life into the Rosemary's Baby scenario, the film delivers on its promises and ends with crushing twist that one would hope is, and will never be, a reality. I think it‘s only a matter of time before we get to see what‘s next for Radio Silence. [B-]
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