By: JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
In ‘Devil’s Due,’ the Horned One Is Up to His Old Mischief
From “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) to The Brood” (1979), demon spawn has been erupting from innocent wombs, to the surprise of mothers who unaccountably fail to greet this vile emission with a pillow to the face — presuming it has one, of course.
Maternal instincts aside, “Devil’s Due,” the latest monster-in-utero movie, brings nothing new to the birthing table except the already tiresome found-footage contrivance. The unlucky parents-to-be are Zach and Sam (Zach Gilford and Allison Miller), newlyweds who spend the last night of their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic unwisely following a cabdriver to an underground club. Back home, there’s a bun in the oven and no memory of the baker. Could it have been Satan?
Perhaps if they had bothered to check the images from the lapel-pin camera that both are using to document their every waking moment, they would have had a clue. Though apparently pieced together from a variety of sources — including supermarket and police interview tapes — the film never reveals who did the piecing. The Antichrist’s little helpers (all of whom, incidentally, are nonwhite), are keeping an eye on the pregnancy, but that probably doesn’t include compiling a video diary.
Dredging up horror movie favorites like random nosebleeds, a traumatized priest and a mama-to-be with a yen for raw meat, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (one-half of the filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence) direct with competence but a dispiriting lack of originality. We know they’ve seen a lot of good movies; we don’t yet know if they can make one.
“Devil’s Due” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). A rogue uterus, a mauled deer and a stressful amniocentesis.