September 24, 2012

The Devil's Curse (2008)

(AKA "Credo")

"A modern supernatural horror film that explores the dark side of the human psyche, and the terror in facing up to one's darkest fears."

While hunting for something to half-way decent to watch, I remembered that I bought a copy of "The Devil's Curse" from my local pawn shop way back in June and still hadn't opened it. From the trailer, it looked as if it was going to be something shit-yer-pants scary and supernatural so I was really looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, it was another low-budget, Lionsgate distributed title which, in terms of disappointment, turned out to be just like "Spirit Trap" (2005) all over again but without Billie Piper.

MyAnna Buring, who you may know as Sam from "The Descent" (2005) and Lotte from "Lesbian Vampire Killers" (2009), was the big name in this although Colin Salmon had almost a minute on screen as a professor of psychiatry. Colin Salmon's role was so small that I'm surprised he was even credited, but his name was right at the top of the DVD artwork as if he was one of the stars.

Another blink and you'll miss it "star" was the late Stephen Gately, the famously gay member of the Irish boyband "Boyzone", who died in 2009. This was supposed to have been his acting debut, but he only had a couple of seconds sitting round a Ouija board at the beginning. If that was acting then every extra can now claim an IMDb credit. Actually, I think they already do.

I didn't and still don't know the names of anyone else involved in this, but I think the token obnoxious American character wasn't really played by an American. I'd hazard a guess that they were all bit-part actors from various TV shows which I've never seen because "The Devil's Curse" had that vibe to it.

While it was refreshing to hear British voices in a horror movie again, one girl (whose character's name was Timmy) committed the crime of saying "uz" (with a "z") instead of "us" at one point. That nearly made me pull the DVD out and snap it in half! I hated when that Northernism got popular in the South of England back in the mid-2000s almost as much as I now loathe how Americans are hellbent on replacing every instance of the word "very" with "super" in a way that makes them all sound like affected rejects from "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin". There are now certain blogs and YouTube channels which I can no longer bear to visit because of it.

Anyway, "The Devil's Curse" started off okay, had some interesting if not very likeable characters, and seemed to be on track to be a pretty good "haunted house" kind of deal. I could tell by the sparseness of the sets that my initial feelings were going to be dashed to pieces, but I suffered through the boredom of the story in twenty minute stages during the day just so I could say that I'd seen it.

The funny thing is, I think I have seen "The Devil's Curse" before and probably on "Netflix" when I still had it. It all seemed very familiar and not just because the scenario was so unoriginal. If I had watched it before, I didn't make it all the way to the end. I barely made it all the way to the end this time either.

The main problem was that the script wasn't very good, the story was overambitious and tried to be a thinking man's "psychological horror" with a twist which didn't make a lot of sense, and the pace at which it unfolded was slower than a snail crawling through treacle.

The acting was okay with MyAnne Buring carrying most of the film, but there was hardly any depth to the characterisation. The camerawork was above average too with none of that shaky nonsense going on. It was just so boring without any jump scares, gore or nudity that I have no idea how it even got an R-rating. Maybe there was some swearing which, since I'm English, I didn't even notice.

If the story had been more shocking or, at the very least, scary then it could have been a pretty decent little film. As it was, I didn't get anything out of it.

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