Horror in any form is always interesting to check out, but when an author or filmmaker can adapt a piece of history to fit it, then all the more better. I particularly enjoy those tales that create their own legends and myths within existing history, such as THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. As such, after reading the synopsis of THE DEVIL LIVES HERE, I knew I had to give it a look. Sure enough, the film is just as good as I hoped it would be. Chocked full of tension and intensity, THE DEVIL LIVES HERE is a vivid thriller that entertains on several levels.
If you are not familiar with THE DEVIL LIVES HERE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Artsploitation Films:
CANDYMAN meets Brazilian mythology in this terrifying tale of demonic spirits, black slavery and the group of young people terrorized by what they have unwittingly unleashed. Three teens visit their friend at his remote family farmhouse. Bad timing, because every nine months, a vengeful evil takes over this ancient house, which is this exact day the teens gather. What was supposed to be a night of scary stories and fun becomes instead a violent, bloody descent into hell.
THE DEVIL LIVES HERE is shot well and looks great onscreen. The production value of the film appears high, and the crew does a great job of utilizing their budget. I especially enjoyed the lighting used throughout the film; the shadowy, low-lit scenes do a great job of amping up the terror.
The acting is very good, with the entire cast doing a fine job in their roles. I don’t recognize any of the names, but I will point out two individuals that stand above the rest: Pedro Caetano, who plays Sebastiao, and Felipe Frazao, who stars as Luciano. These two men do exceptionally well with their performances, and I hope to see more of them in the future.
The story is intriguing, and although it is pretty straightforward, there’s plenty here to enjoy. It is original and inventive, a nice, stand-out addition to the urban mythology offerings that are becoming more and more common in film. This isn’t your traditional teens-unlocking-evil story, either; there’s more going on that what you see on the surface, and the conclusion of the film is a nice testament to that.
If I were forced to find a flaw with THE DEVIL LIVES HERE, I might suggest a bit more time spent on the backstory in fleshing it out. Sure, we are given plenty to work with, but some point-blank exposition to simplify things might work better. This is certainly not a complaint, simply an observation.
THE DEVIL LIVES HERE is a definite win for me, and I suggest giving this Brazilian treat a look. It is available now in a variety of formats. (Subtitled, no English voiceover)