Being a critic can be difficult because you have to weigh the artistic integrity of a film alongside the entertainment value. Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s Here Comes The Devil is the complete opposite of Berberian Sound Studio in that it’s incredibly entertaining, yet poorly made. It’s also worth noting that Bogliano appears to be growing as a director, but still can’t figure out how to close out strong.
Here Comes the Devil begins after two kids vanish during a family vacation in Tijuana and return mysteriously the next morning. They clearly are not the same. The parents begin to investigate believing that maybe a local man had sexual abused them in a nearby cave, although it turns out something much more sinister is afoot.
Bogliano tells stories from a very different perspective than most filmmakers, and it feels vaguely that it may relate to a lack of film knowledge and experience (odd for a filmmaker with several films under his belt). Yet, he somehow crafts a unique experience that’s both engaging and shocking. Still, it will be harsh on filmgoers’ eyes as the final product is bizarrely ugly, poorly blocked and is arranged in an odd manor – but chaos in filmmaking can sometimes translate into a unique and captivating final product. Unfortunately, Here Comes the Devil only touches the surface of greatness. Mostly, it’s a sloppy film with some really crazy moments…and a whole lot of sexual tension.
Here Comes the Devil is early 1970s inspired, reminiscent of the classic Dirty Harry films. It also touches on themes of Devil worship and supernatural haunts like the infamous The Entity. There are intense sexual situations, coming-of-age themes, insane supernatural jolts, and quite a few gory moments; it’s got a little bit of everything for the hardcore horror nut.
The end lacks any sort of real punch but still manages to be slightly poetic. It’s hardly the way one would want a movie to end, but it’s hard to knock a film for wrapping it up so cleanly. And while Bogliano is getting better as a filmmaker, it’s highly advised that he attend some sort of filmmaker seminar or class to learn how to add some production value to his gritty, student perspective.