Sometimes, trailers give their movies away by showing off too much footage, but the above clip for upcoming found footage horror story Devil's Due shows off just enough to paint the film as broad and very, very borrowed. One part Paranormal Activity (the entire series, really), several parts Rosemary's Baby, and with a dash of off-brand fare like The House of the Devil and The Last Exorcism (1 and 2) sprinkled in for good measure, it's obvious that Devil's Due is the sort of genre movie that's totally unafraid to blatantly wear its influences on its sleeve.
The problem is that none of them look like they mesh very well. The basic conceit here revolves around a newlywed couple (Allison Miller and Zach Gilford) who, upon returning from their honeymoon, find themselves expecting a bouncing bundle of joy much sooner than they'd anticipated; as the pregnancy progresses, signs suggest that their child has far more sinister origins than they realize, while a mysterious cult takes a vested interest in the baby's birth from afar.
In other words, the set-up is pretty standard. Maybe the clip intentionally doesn't hint at some major script development that turns the entire premise on its ear, but at a glance, Devil's Due looks about as rote and by-the-numbers as possible, with the added twist of being completely nonsensical to boot. Sure, hubby wants to capture his pregnant wife on tape for memories and posterity, but when she starts going berserk in parking lots and doing physical harm to herself, you'd think he'd catch the hint and put his camera down.
Devil's Due comes to us courtesy of Fox and filmmaker Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who genre aficionados may recognize as twenty five percent of directing quartet Radio Silence. If that name rings a bell, then you've probably seen 2012's horror omnibus V/H/S - to which Radio Silence contributed the final segment, titled "10/31/98." In the whole of that film, their skit easily ranks as one of the best, but none of the inventive panache that makes it so good appears to have made it into Devil's Due at all.
Maybe the fact that Fox is just unveiling this movie now, only a few months ahead of a January, 2014 release date, should serve as something of a clue to audiences: Devil's Due doesn't have a lot going for it, and the studio knows it. Alternately, Bettinelli-Olpin could have a surprise winner on his hands, but first impressions don't speak favorably to the film's success.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Does Devil's Due have potential, or does it look like too much of a copycat for its own good?
Devil's Due starts its US theatrical run on January 8th, 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Movies