The Devil's Children (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Devil's Children (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Bleaz79 on November 29th, 2021 | Movie Review | Slasher, Teen, Found Footage, Dangerous Exploration, B-Horror

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It’s about two student documentary filmmakers attempting to discover what happened the night a group of friends were viciously attacked and murdered, using the account of the sole survivor and memory card of the recording of their final hours.

The Devil’s Children was directed by Dillon Brown, written by Dillon Brown and Sean Cochrane, and stars Natalie R. Hurt, Jesse Green, Chris Thigpen, Olivia Pearl Hansen, Ryan Walker, Nui Phonphila and Lexie Hughes. This is the debut film of all involved.

Found footage is the way to solve the slaying.

The Devils Children Review

This is a micro-budget found footage slasher that is very much in the vein of films such as The Last Broadcast and The Lost Footage Of Leah Sullivan.

Found footage can be a real double edged sword. Ever since The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity turned huge profits, filmmakers have tried to recapture the lightning in a bottle of those two behemoths of the genre, with varying degrees of success. For every Grave Encounters, V/H/S or Host there’s 101 variations on a theme, such as Atrocious, The Gallows and V/H/S: Viral.

Debut writer director, Dillon Brown, takes the smaller, collegiate route here as two students creating a documentary watch the footage of a group of friends spending the day preparing to, and then trying to, contact the spirit of their murdered classmate, things inevitably go horribly wrong.

When I say micro-budget, I mean just that, Brown completed this for less than $1,500 and everyone involved in the making of the film is a first timer onscreen. Coming in at a scant 57 minutes, Brown ensures that he wastes none of them whatsoever. He spends time making sure we get to know the characters so we actually care about them rather than them just being the usual group of utterly disposable teens. A large portion of the film builds the relationship between the two ostensible male leads of Mike (Ryan Walker) and Shane (Nui Phonphila) and their friendship, which is being tested by one of them more interested in sex than in the ritual they are about to perform.

The small cast and limited number of sets bring an intimacy and claustrophobia to proceedings, helping increase the tension as we wait for the inevitable. When events reach a head there are chills and shocks galore. The cast are excellent, all of them seem comfortable and bring a genuinely natural feel and realism to their characters, in particularly the gorgeous Natalie R. Hurt who brings a real subtlety to the role of sole survivor, V.

It’s not without its flaws however. There are a couple of non-found footage scenes, one of which briefly takes the viewer out of the moment for a period, and the practical effects of this scene are extremely basic, minor quibbles that can be laid at the door of their meagre budget. The ending is also slightly predictable, but it’s an ending that is still earned by the hard work done before.

Worth Watching?

Yes, belying its tiny budget, Dillon Brown delivers a solid debut that has a knowledge and love for the genre. Tense and chilling with a visceral, tension filled ending I thoroughly enjoyed this. I am very much looking forward to the follow up The Devil’s Lamb as well.

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