Since I started reviewing films, I have found the best thing to do is watch them without any knowledge of them. That way I can let myself enjoy the surprise. When I read the very brief summary on DEVIL’S MILE, I figured it was some kind of WRONG TURN slasher film. I was very wrong and pleasantly surprised by it.
DEVIL’S MILE is a road horror film set around three kidnappers who decide to take a short cut. Of course things don’t go smoothly for them when strange things start to happen to them. DEVIL’S MILE is a supernatural horror with a little bit of a rather complex twist. I won’t give anything away as that would ruin it, but lets just say, it’s not what you think or expect.
The extremely small cast features THE GUYVER star and WATCHMEN screenwriter David Hayter. Mainly known for being a writer and a voice actor for METAL GEAR, Hayter is wonderful as the dangerously reckless leader of the gang. He is a nasty piece of work and so much fun to watch, you can tell he had a lot of fun with this role. Also starring is Rebecca Hall lookalike Casey Hudecki. Primarily a stunt actress, Hudecki was the more humane of the kidnappers. Her stunning performance just tears right through you as she strives to stay alive and get off the road. All of the cast gives stand-out performances and I can’t fault any of them.
The thing I liked most about DEVIL’S MILE is that it isn’t a straightforward horror film. There are a mix of genres, its slightly noir, slightly thriller and full on horror with a little magic. There is also a creepy Asian horror influence which I don’t want to spoil. It seems so out of place but it works incredibly well. This film doesn’t give the viewer all the answers, it wants you to decide for yourself, it makes you think. That’s pretty rare in horror nowadays, we are so used to being spoonfed everything that we forget the greatest viewing tool is our own minds.
Director and writer Joseph O’Brien certainly has a knack for injecting creepy nightmare fuel and I can see him making a name for himself in the genre. The film is shot with the colours slightly drained which I think gives it that gritty, desolate feeling. It is just a very cool looking film that just screams indie. I can’t help but see a David Lynch influence, the dark highway and the strange, dream-like scenario is something that will always make think of Lynch. Whether it was intentional or not I found my mind wandering to that eerie way of storytelling.
DEVIL’S MILE is a great pick for people who are looking for something a little different. For those people who are sick of the horror cliches. If you want something thought provoking and a little different, this is a film you will enjoy.
[usr 4.5] DEVIL’S MILE is released on the 12th August.