Written by: Matt Molgaard
After a recent run of uninspired, flat and technically unrefined films, it was nice to soak up Adrián García Bogliano’s, Here Comes the Devil. It’s a spirited indie with low production values but surprisingly respectable jolts. And while not necessarily frightening, it is certainly a very disconcerting pic. Bogliano cares about his product, and he respects the genre. It’s plain to see in the folds of this slow burn shocker. Thank the stars for filmmakers with passion!
The story follows a young couple – Felix and Sol (portrayed wonderfully by Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro, respectively) and their two children, out and about for some R&R. At a rest stop the kids spot a massive hill that holds the allure of adventure, and with their mother’s permission it’s off to do some exploring. Mom and dad seize the moment and get to some frisky business, which is great for a couple. We all need a little excitement in our lives, right? Right. But don’t pass out after a heated quickie while your kids are exploring potentially hazardous terrain out of your supervision. That’s bad. You never know what might happen, and as these two learn, even if your kids return on schedule, there’s no telling exactly who, or what they might truly be.
A psychological tale sprinkled with cautionary notes and a heavy dose of just about everything a parent fears, Here Comes the Devil works quite well to shake viewers up. This is an unnerving picture that’s startlingly ambitious, which makes each punch all the more effective. And believe this, there are a few punches that will have your psyche crashing to the canvas, that’s how effective they are. There’s a certain revelation in the earlier minutes of the third act that will really leave the jaw unhinged, and while I won’t elaborate on specific details, I will say it’s both repulsive and shocking. The manner in which Bogliano skims right over the issue is also frightening. It’s almost nonchalant, and when you see this shot (trust me, you’ll know it without requiring confirmation) you’re just left with a boggled mind. We’re confused because it feels profoundly uncomfortable to treat this type of content so insouciantly, but that’s a big part of what makes the film – and Bogliano’s style of filmmaking, in general – so damn intriguing. There’s a conflict created here, the lines crossed somewhere in the synapse. Between the moment we see something, and the moment we register its potential impact, things get twisted and Bogliano completely toys with our minds.
Hey, here’s something insanely relevant, but watch close, because I’m going to pretend it means little to nothing. That’s what the promising Bogliano proposes to viewers, and it’s a really unorthodox but cool approach that could earn the man a wonderful reputation should he look to make that a career theme. Hitchcock was all about that buildup; Carpenter, in his earlier days, was famous for holding as long as absolutely possible before the cut; William Castle was a master of the revolutionary gimmick; perhaps Bogliano could establish himself as a brilliant talent determined to simultaneously confuse and terrorize the minds of viewers. We’ll see what the future holds in store. Today is what matters, and today Adrián García Bogliano successfully scores with this inspired little piece that keeps the viewer guessing from the jump to the final credits.