Film Reviews

A Found-Footage Attempt at Rosemary's Baby in Devil's Due

In Devil's Due, co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (V/H/S) and first-time screenwriter Lindsay Devlin offer an uninspired found-footage riff on Roman Polanski's demon-spawn classic, Rosemary's Baby (1968).

On their Dominican Republic honeymoon, the squeakily innocent Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) are drugged by a cult who draw a circle, light a few candles, and call forth Beelzebub, who impregnates Samantha.

The pregnancy seems a happy surprise until Samantha begins having violent temper tantrums, eats a package of raw meat, and, in the film's best — but all too brief — action sequence, uses Carrie-like telekinetic power to dispatch three teens who catch her doing something truly yucky in the deep woods.

All this, of course, we see through an assemblage of video footage captured by Zach's ever-present camera, as well as Paranormal Activity-style home surveillance from cameras secretly placed in the couple's home by the cult.

Gilford, forever beloved as Matt Saracen, the heart-of-gold quarterback on TV's Friday Night Lights, gives a strong, grounding performance, but Devlin's script tips its hand so early on that Devil's Due lumbers toward a woefully flat, predictable ending, and the unwelcome promise of something truly demonic — sequels.

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Chuck Wilson is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.