The Devil Lives Here, or O Diabo Mora Aqui as it is known in it’s native Brazil, is a fantasy/horror/thriller from 2015. Artsploitation Films has released it on DVD. Is it worth a coveted spot in your collection?
The story bounces around between two settings. A modern day one where three teenagers are heading off to visit a friend at his old farmhouse for the weekend. And one from the past about a honey baron and his slaves. The story lines eventually intertwine. Then the true nature of the title of the film is revealed.
The Devil Lives Here is a pretty straightforward story with a small budget and independent feel to it. The set up to the main plot feels quite a bit like some local forgotten folklore. It’s unfortunate that the script turns into a convoluted mess as the film progresses. The movie itself is right around 80 minutes and yet it still tries to throw every plot twist and cliche in the book at the viewer. The story being average is a shame because the cinematic atmosphere and way the film is shot is actually pretty well done. The characters are played by actors with very little screen credit. There feels to be a genuineness to their portrayals and I wished that there had been more focus put on them.
This film is more of an ensemble piece so if you do find an actor or two you like you don’t really get to spend much time with them. I thought the main baddie could have been better. I would like more scenery chewing and development. Oddly they kept his character in check and didn’t allow him to do much. I got the impression that two different ideas were sort of thrown together to make one film. The structure for an interesting film is here and I will keep a look out for the directors’ (Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio) next projects. Maybe since there were two directors I was intuitively feeling the pull of two different ideas of where to take the story?
It’s not a bad film by any means. I did enjoy it and found pieces of it really interesting. It’s mostly where those ideas were taken or all of the plot threads that were left hanging that turned me off of liking it more. It probably doesn’t help that just about everything done in this film has been explored before and more thoroughly in older movies. The Devil Lives Here is filmed competently and acted professionally. It is destined to be a cult film and hopefully it finds the audience that it deserves.
I found the picture quality to be very good for a DVD, although as always I prefer to own my films on Blu-ray. The lighting, and use of shadows are well done and come across in the transfer. The movie is filmed in it’s native language with English Subtitles. With this film being in standard definition they don’t look as sharp or nice as ones in HD do. The audio comes through 2.0 Stereo and while it would be nice to have better audio this does the job. The dialogue is clear and the score ramped up at appropriate times.
There are no special features on this release.
The Devil Lives Here Final Thoughts:
The Devil Lives Here is an interesting movie. There isn’t much gore and there really isn’t much in the way of nudity. This film plays very heavily on atmosphere, dream like visuals, and mood. The pacing is done pretty well (at least until the very end) and the cinematography is professionally done.
Some of the issues I have with it is that I wish the movie had more depth. There is an interesting story buried in here but it got lost along the way. People who have seen lots of horror movies will not find much new. The film plays heavily in folklore and cliches and it sort of repeats things from many different films. Viewers who are looking for a visually arresting film heavily steeped in symbolism also wont find any new ground. They will possibly be frustrated with where the story goes.
I’m not entirely sure who the film should be marketed to. Some will watch it and find it OK but forgettable. However, I know that there will be a small amount who will find the film fascinating. For those who think they are in that group you can get it here at Amazon, but for any others I would suggest a rental first.
Note: This DVD was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.