Devil’s Due, recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD is a horror film in made to resemble the Paranormal Activity series. Complete with handheld cameras and home surveillance cameras, it could basically be the same film series. But it isn’t. Devil’s Due is something we have all seen before. That is if we have seen any horror movies. At once a combination of Rosemary’s Baby and Paranormal Activities I-IV, but falling short of either.
The story goes like this, a happy couple is engaged. The husband-to-be gets a video camera to document their lives together starting with the night before the wedding. The girl is touched, implying that she never had a family to document before, she is happy to go along with the video camera idea. They get married in a beautiful ceremony and are as happy as any two people can be. As we all know in a horror movie, this just spells disaster!
Now, the honeymoon. They head to the Dominican Republic and continue to be happy and glowing. They go to the beautiful beaches and zip-lining. An adventure honeymoon to say the least. The trip takes a turn to the dark side on their last day in the D.R. Sam (the bride) decides she wants to get her palm read. The fortune teller talks about Sam’s lack of a past and the hard times she has gone through. Then she says that Sam was born from death and that they have been waiting for her. The fortune teller goes crazy trying to tell Sam something important but Sam will have no part of it. She storms out and Zach follows.
They get into a cab where the driver offers to take them to a great party for their last night of their trip. The two stupidly trust a complete stranger who just happened by in a taxi in the bad part of town and agree. He takes them to a worse part of town to an underground club. Zach and Sam dance joyously and drink copiously. Sam notices that the cab driver and other men are watching her but continues to dance with Zach. Soon we see only flashes on the handheld camera as the two are drug or carried to a chamber that can only be described as a ritual room. In true Rosemary’s Baby fashion, Sam is laid in the middle and some force moves on top of her. The camera goes dark.
The next day the two awake in their hotel room not remembering how they got home or anything in the ritual room. They go back home and resume their lives. Then Sam finds out she is pregnant even though she is on birth control. They go to their first doctor’s visit and all is well, although the ultrasound machine and video camera fritz at the same time.
Things start getting weird. While they are gone, cameras get set up all around their house. Sam begins to act strangely. When awoken she tends to physically attack and lash out. The tried and true vegetarian goes to the supermarket and rips into a package of raw hamburger, shoving it in her face in the aisle. Sam worries something is wrong with the baby. And Zach worries there is something wrong with Sam. They get a new doctor mysteriously with no warning. All signs point toward conspiracy once again like Rosemary’s Baby. The cameras in the house show Sam constantly going into the room for the baby at night and carving a circle in the floor. If anyone goes in the room she screams and attacks them.
And of course, there are always strange men outside watching and waiting. To make a long story short, the whole movie comes to a violent conclusion when Sam is 9 months along. She kills her sister-in-law sent to watch over her while Zach is out investigating the people watching them, she nearly kills Zach when he returns. In the middle of the ritualistic symbol in the baby’s room Sam performs a C-section on herself (at least the incision), and the men who have been watching come in and take the baby. Sam is dead, the baby (spawn of the devil, or antichrist) is gone and Zach is left to be questioned by police for murder.
Oh yeah, and Sam killed the family priest in the process of becoming mother to one of many antichrists. Cliché surrounds cliché in this film that could have been so much more. Instead it steals from classics such as The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby and the new classics like the Paranormal Activity series offering up nothing new other than a woman giving herself a C-section which as a woman is admittedly disturbing to think about.
The Devil’s Due plays off of the common idea that pregnancy is something to fear and something dangerous. Sam is treated as though she is mentally ill because of her pregnancy and her rough past. Nobody listens when she says something is wrong and even when they indulge her (running tests, etc…), they do not actually believe her. The woman is treated as if she cannot be trusted to know her own body. Common practice in mainstream culture revolving pregnancy and hormones, the woman is both the victim and the villain in this film. Yet another way to portray pregnant women in a negative light.
Overall this film is not worth the effort. Instead check out the classics, Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen (the original of course, not the remake). They are by far superior films.
Film Grade: D-
Recommendation: Stay Away