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A Mexican horror film harking back to slow-burn arty exploitation flicks of the early ’70s, Adrian Garcia Bogliano‘s Here Comes the Devil occasionally feels like what might result if Dario Argento made an homage to Peter Weir‘s Picnic at Hanging Rock. Chills are deployed too infrequently to please many American genre fans, though; any connection with genre buffs will likely come on video.
After a brief prelude that is sexier, more violent and stranger than most of what will follow, we meet Sol and Felix (Laura Caro and Francisco Barreiro), a married couple taking their son and daughter out for a day in the countryside. While letting the kids go off to explore a nearby hill as they prepare for the drive home, the husband and wife languidly start making out. By cutting straight from the moment of penetration to the children’s entry into a rocky cave, the film suggests parental lust is to blame for what happens next.
The kids disappear on the hill and stay lost all night, but after they’re rescued, their odd behavior causes parents and authorities to suspect something happened in that cave that they won’t admit: Were they raped? Did they engage in acts of incest mirroring their parents’ coupling?
Bogliano is unhurried as Felix and Sol pursue the answer, exploring possible causes both earthly and supernatural. Though each avenue provides for some intriguing action, the ultimate payoff doesn’t live up to the psychotronic setup of the first act, in which abrupt zooms and an oppressive electronic buzz promise a palpable evil to come.
Production Company: Salto De Fe Films
Cast: Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez, Michele Garcia, Giancarlo Ruiz, David Cabezud, Enrique Saint Martin, Barbara Perrin Rivemar, Dana Dorel, Jessica Iris
Director-Screenwriter: Adrian Garcia Bogliano
Producers: Andrea Quiroz Hernandez
Executive producers: Malik B. Ali, Badie Ali, Hamza Ali, Greg Newman
Director of photography: Ernesto Herrera
Production designer-Costume designer: Catalina Oliva
Music: Julio Pillado
Editor: Carmen Vargas
No rating, 97 min.
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