Here Comes the Devil (2012) - The final film in this set a dark tale of family secrets and devil possession. So far each film has presented me something new and interesting, Rooms for Tourists the secret of the little village the girls arrive in. In Cold Sweat the unique way the victims are killed. In Penumbra the wonderful twist in the final ceremony during the eclipse. Well, Here Comes the Devil continues with a family secret revealed. It is creepy and built with little "tells" being shown as we move towards the third act. It is a shame the inevitable ending scene is telegraphed a bit too much. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed this film; It is a compelling and disturbing tale of a family that is creepy and in the end tragic. In fact I have enjoyed all the films in this recent set and can be counted as a Adrian Garcia Bogliano fan at this point. The horror wheat fields are full of chafe so when you find the grains of goodness you should make a point of appreciating them. These film have been a hearty meal of horror goodness and I look forward to future releases.
In the opening scene we see a couple of women hot and heavy into each other on a bed. When the post coital talk is done one of the women is attacked brutally while downstairs. The killer is injured by the surviving woman and runs off to a rocky hill filled with caves. It is a harsh and brutal start and Director Adrian Garcia Boliano says in the commentary that he was looking for the style of 1970's Italian thrillers where the film opens more like a second act instead of the first. The idea is to have strong scenes that leave the viewer thinking about them, or with an emotional charge that lingers into the next scene. The music by Julio Pillado certainly adds to the feeling and throughout is a strength of the picture. It certainly does what is intended, from the surprising love making to open the film, two blurred bodies come into focus as two woman, Sandra (Jessica Iris) and Abril (Dana Dorel) are making love. When they are finished they casually talk about their relationship before one goes off downstairs to a violent and shocking turn. It definitely leaves the viewer wondering "What the fuck am I in for?" It also establishes a location that will become central to the main story.
When a family of four are out for a picnic the two children on the verge of puberty venture out on their own to explore some caves on the hillside, they go missing over night creating a nightmare for the parents. Guilt ridden but relieved when they are returned the next day the parents take them home determined with a new appreciation for the family. Built into the story are ideas about the first sexual experience a young people have. The parents Sol (Laura Caro) and Felix (Francisco Barreiro) before realizing the children are missing have an uncomfortable (for us viewers) heavy petting session in their car while they describe their first times showing their privates to the opposite sex. We watch there struggle with the guilt of their actions even though the incident really is a faultless one. This is a parallel to their own children who are at the same ages the parents were when they started exploring sex. The parents never make the connection between the age of their first experiences and the ages of their children. It is a foreshadowing of the secrets that are later learned of by Sol.
This film is surprising in its turns and the extremes that the characters go. After the return of their children the concerned parents watch and see that the children are not acting all together normally. Taking them to a psychologist they learn that it is possible that some kind of traumatic sexual incident could have taken place. I know at this point if you had not seen the opening scenes you would think this is a family drama. The parents putting pieces together figure out that the strange guy they saw in the gas station was staring and a bit too interested in their daughter. Lots of things build the feeling that the incident must have to do with him. Is this the secret that must be dealt with? Confirmed by the reaction of their children to seeing the man again from their car only confirmed their ideas. Felix and Sol pay a visit to the man and from this point on all bets are off in this movie. I was not expecting this particular scene and it was a wonderful horror surprise. With the motivation of confirming that this man harmed their daughter the parents are not taking this to the police and the film turns as the concerned parents become vigilantes. Unexpected this turn leads the couple down a road neither will ever be able to come back from.
Still the film has more surprises for it's audience with the introduction of a supernatural element. The exposition for this is set up early in the film with a gas station attendant telling the couple about the bad mojo of the hill the kids disappeared on. This is always a horror movie with the trapping necessary to keep you believing it, even when the drama of the family or the investigations of the police come into play. It is just has more to it than your average horror film in plot twists and turns and character motivation. Incidents with flashing lights and strange behavior by the children Sara (Michele Garcia) and Aldolfo (Alan Martinez) keep it firmly in the horror realm while the character developments make you feel for the family. The stylish and terrifying experience of baby sitter Marcia (Barbara Perrin Rivemar) stands out as an example of the Devil doing evil deeds and of the filmmakers command of the craft. Although not explicitly stated as a evil spirit rape scene I was pretty sure that that is what it was. After viewing the film and seeing the extra it was confirmed with an even longer and more stylish deleted scene.
Really the flaws, as I saw them have to do with the Mother's reaction when she figures out the kids secret. She is way too internal in how she deals with it. Instead of filling in her husband on what she believes she instead keeps that information to herself. She develops an entire plan for revealing the horrors of the ending to him but never stops to think that what he will think is going on may be different than what she intends. The secret is a big one and I can't believe this would not be a major conversation as soon as it is learned. Now it could probably be argued that after the experience the parents shared in confronting Lucio (David Arturo Cabezud), (yes I purposely did not describe the events here) that there could be a strain between the couple. Felix after that incident is seen more of getting on with life. Returning to work and although nervous about the police looking into events concerning Lucio is starting to get back to life. While Sol carries the plot for a while being the investigator in the strange behavior of her children. It works for the plot for her not to be filling in her husband on all the goings on she has had around them but it sort of telegraphed the final scene. Her big discovery at the end of the film and her orchestration to reveal it to Felix could only end one way. He did not have all the information that she did and his reaction unfortunately was all too predictable.
Still the film is a really well put together piece of horror with lots of cool little thing for you to take away from it. There is family drama, guilt and reaction to it, vigilantism, supernatural possession and other secrets not to be revealed here. It is worth the price of admission and this viewer already owns the Blu Ray. So if you are looking for original horror find this director's stuff and I am sure you will enjoy it.