Here Comes the Devil is a case study in how to make your low-budget horror movie saleable.
By ROGER MOORE
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
It barely has a fright in it on its own, this bloody, Mexican-made supernatural thriller set in the hill country near Tijuana.
But open it with a hot Blue Is the Warmest Color sex scene, toss in a few other hot and heavy moments and a generous helping of nudity and you can be sure, at least, of getting a Hollywood studios attention.
The movie surrounding that sexual stuff? Meh.
That opening all-female sex scene ends with a brutal, bloody attack, with the crazed killer escaping to a mysterious, rock-covered hill. Thats the perfect place for Sol (Laura Caro) and Felix (Francisco Barreiro) to let their kids take off for a hike. The grown-ups need a little make-out and talk-dirty time in the car.
Its only after the kids fail to come back that the locals warn (in Spanish, with English subtitles) that Too many people have gone missing up there.
But no harm, no foul. Sara (Michele Garcia) and Adolfo (Alan Martinez) show up the next day, their ordeal in a cave over. Or is it? Saras burgeoning sexuality and odd behavior make the parents suspect something happened to her. A creepy loner named Lucio (David Arturo Cabezud) figures as the prime suspect. Hey, his names close to Lucifer, so go figure.
Writer-director Adrian Garcia Bogliano toys with a Hitchcockian touch here and there parents skipping past the cops and seeking answers, and maybe revenge. The leads Caro and Barreiro nicely suggest the confusion, paranoia and terror that takes over when you fear the worst for your kids. Devil is in able hands so long as Caro is carrying it.
But the supernatural scares that start happening around our stricken family flickering lights, random shrieks, earthquakes and the like take Here Comes the Devil over much too-familiar ground.
And the best Bogliano can come up with for a flimsy-effects finale is such pure queso that if it werent for the subtitles and the sex, Here Comes the Devil would have traveled straight to video, where it belongs.