HERE COMES THE DEVIL *** USA / Mexico 2012 97 mins
Following an arresting opening that sets the tone quite nicely (naked lesbian sex followed by a machete attack), we find our protagonists, a married couple (Francisco Barriero and Laura Caro), enjoying some rare sexy time while their two kids explore a nearby cave. The kids vanish for a while, before returning home oddly altered (their daughter missing her hymen) as a possible result of a curse associated with the caves. With echoes of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK in its richly used, suggestively supernatural exterior location, this movie has a unique look and feel as it unravels its story of two children taken over by an evil force. There’s more sex than you would expect from a genre film, plus boldly employed themes of underage abuse and incest. It’s eccentrically paced, but builds to scenes of real alarm: a strong injection of gritty 70’s-style exploitation horror culminates in a shockingly bloody midway murder sequence in a caravan. With a soundtrack that veers from discordant sound design to screaming metal, it feels quite original and unpredictable, even if its references are not only obvious, they are directly mentioned in the end credits. (One bit of wholly gratuitous nudity is a direct visual quote from THE ENTITY).
Review by Steven West