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January 7, 2017

Movie Review: The Devil Lives Here (2015, Artsploitation)

All righty, 2017. Whatchu got for me? A Brazilian horror movie? Cool, that’s better than a Brazilian wax. But it’s kinda trite and not all that interesting? Well, it could be worse I guess. Wait, there area bunch of metaphors that aren’t really metaphors because the bad guy explains it all? Several times??

The Devil Lives Here comes to us from Brazil, which is actually cool because I don’t think I’ve watched one from there before! The basic story is this: three friends - Ale, Jorge, and Magu - head out to a farmhouse to spend the night with another friend, Apolo. The boys wanna play a prank on Magu but instead of just giving her a good scare, they actually stir up the resident spirits and bring about a terrifying night.

Meanwhile, the two sons of the previous caretaker of the farmhouse, Sebastiao and Luciano, raise the corpse of Bento, a centuries old slave, who’s been keeping the bad spirits inside the house so they can’t wreak havoc on the world. These two and the four friends must work together to stop the evil from getting out.

I’ll give you a hint - they fail.

There was definitely promise in this movie. I like the idea of age old curses and how every generation of a family must protect it or keep it going or whatever. Ancient evils are pretty cool, too. Or at least more than a few decades old kinda are.

The problem comes when the writers throw WAY too many elements into the legend and it becomes extremely muddled and complicated by the end to the point where they lose the audience. Usually because we can’t keep up or just stop giving a fuck.

It's okay. Just touch it. I swear I'll respect you in the morning.
I got some artsy feelings off this, too. The camera shots back and forth between characters and ant farms, or bee hives, or pictures of both, is supposed to represent how the big bad looks at everyone. But it stopped becoming metaphor or symbolism when he EXPLAINS IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER. All right. I fucking get it. The Baron is a misogynistic racist asshole and everyone is beneath him and all that. Geez. Also getting right up close to Apolo's snot lines (I swear it was like the Niagara Falls of mucus) is not interesting. It gag inducing.

One of my biggest gripes, story wise anyway, is the whole ‘girlfriend is on meds so when the shit hits the fan no one listens to her warnings’ fuckery. It’s a lazy way for characters to keep going down the wrong path. The writers also don’t really explain the intricacies of Bento and his abilities and purpose. So when people start channeling him or taking over his job or whatever, I just kinda had one of those 

moments and then tuned out.

Could have been a decent film but too much crap and not enough compelling writing to make for anything better than meh.

1.5 Hatchets (out of 5)

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