M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Four of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2013 and going through September 30, 2014. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2013 and September 30, 2014 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on December 13, 2013. Available on digital download, On Demand, and DVD/Blu-ray!
HERE COMES THE DEVIL (2012)
Directed by Adrián García Bogliano
Written by Adrián García Bogliano
Starring Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez, Michele Garcia, Giancarlo Ruiz
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Adrián García Bogliano, the filmmaker behind last year’s feast for the eyes and ears COLD SWEAT, is at it again with a much more mature and sophisticated take on horror in HERE COMES THE DEVIL. This time around he tackles subject matter that feels much more personal; tapping into the fear that anyone with loved ones can identify with. When Felix (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE’s Francisco Barriero) and Sol (popular Mexican singer Laura Caro) let their children play by a hill while they fool around in their car, their children go missing. A day later, the children are found…or are they?
As with COLD SWEAT, Bogliano once again makes a sensual horror film with an opening sex scene between two women, followed by the aforementioned incendiary scene between two parents boffing in a car while their children are off playing. Both scenes end badly with Bodliano illustrating the guilt associated with sex marvelously. The fact that these parents are showing love for one another makes the disappearance all the weightier in that they are guilt-ridden at neglecting to look after their own kids, tearing into one another afterwards by blaming each other. The relationship between the parents is a complex one, as are most real-life relationships, and feels so much more real than what we are used to seeing in American films. These are not perfect parents by a long shot. As Sol begins to suspect that her children aren’t telling her the whole truth as to what went on the night they went missing, Felix refuses to believe her, causing a rift between them even more.
The film goes deep and dark and is going to turn off some sensitive types with the perverse areas it plunges into. As this family begins to fall deeper and deeper into the abyss, it’s the patience Bogliano shows in the very slow-moving first half hour that makes your heart ache at every wrong turn the parents take afterward. This is very much a horror film, but also serves as a fantastic family drama. It is evident later in the film (and by the film’s title) that demonic possession factors in, both in a literal sense and in a poetic sense as Felix identifies himself as the devil when he confronts someone he suspects of assaulting his children that night. The layers are deep in this film, serving as a cautionary tale to watch over your children, an exploration of guilt and how individuals react to it, and a morality tale dealing with taking law into one’s own hands.
Bogliano sets the mood to dire with some well timed shocks as well as doling out information with a tentative measure. What impressed me the most is the leap in maturity and sophistication from COLD SWEAT, which was a very in your face-style film, to HERE COMES THE DEVIL, which crawls beneath your skin meticulously. Much like ROSEMARY’S BABY, it’s the mood set and the amplification of emotion that cause the real shocks in HERE COMES THE DEVIL. I have to admit, I kind of saw the ending coming midway through, but that doesn’t make the ride there any less thrilling and impactful.
Though possession stories have been told time and time again, usually they turn out to be knockoffs of THE EXORCIST. HERE COMES THE DEVIL stands out by delving into the possession subgenre from a multi-leveled vantage point, involving many shades of horror and perversion. I’ll be keeping you all in the loop as to when and where you’re going to be able to see HERE COMES THE DEVIL. It’s definitely not a Hollywood film in that it has the wherewithal to take you to uncomfortable and unconventional places both psychologically and emotionally.
THE 2013-2014 COUNTDOWN!
#10 – HERE COMES THE DEVIL
#11 – PIECES OF TALENT
#12 – CRAWL OR DIE
#13 – TUSK
#14 – THE BUTTERFLY ROOM
#15 – FOUND
#16 – PLUS ONE
#17 – AS ABOVE SO BELOW
#18 – WILLOW CREEK
#19 – MACABRE
#20 – GRAND PIANO
#21 – RIGOR MORTIS
#22 – ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE
#23 – THE MACHINE
#24 – DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN
#25 – THE SACRAMENT
#26 – THE SEASONING HOUSE
#27 – THANATOMORPHOSE
#28 – DEVOURED
#29 – CONTRACTED
#30 – DISCOPATH
#31 – SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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