By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — The stork brings something quite unpleasant in "Devil’s Due" (Fox), a found-footage take on the "Rosemary’s Baby" premise.
Though the film that results from combining those elements lasts a scant 89 minutes, it feels like nine months of boredom.
Via camcorder, we accompany newlyweds Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) to the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon. There they encounter an overly friendly cab driver (Roger Payano) who insists on taking them to a spooky nightclub.
Waking up with a hangover the next morning, neither can remember how the evening ended, though we’re in the know thanks to some shaky shots of a clearly demonic ceremony conducted in Latin. Black Mass in the extraordinary form, as it were.
Next thing you know, Samantha finds out she’s with child, despite her affirmation to Zach that she takes the pill "religiously." What a nice way to put it.
Although unexpected, the pregnancy is initially welcomed by both parents as well as by their kith and kin. But then weird events begin to befall the couple. You know, "Paranormal Activity" -type stuff. Instead of pickles and ice cream, for example, Samantha, who has earlier identified herself as a vegetarian, gets a yen for raw, preferably bloody meat.
Among those around Samantha who feel Satan’s wrath is Father Thomas (Sam Anderson), a priest who can’t seem to decide whether he’s Episcopalian or Catholic. His church bears all the hallmarks of the former denomination, yet a later scene finds him fiddling nervously with his rosaries.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett pay as little attention to the details of Father Tom’s religious allegiance as they do to anything else in their slapdash horror outing.
Perhaps appropriately, the proximity of the Father of Lies seems to provoke quite an outpouring of curse words from the panicked. In keeping with the "Paranormal Activity" pattern, though, bloodletting is kept to a minimum.
The film contains some gory images, acceptance of contraceptive use and premarital cohabitation, about a half-dozen profanities and much rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.
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