Devil's Due gives Rosemary's Baby the shaky-cam treatment


Starring Allison Miller and Zach Gilford. Rated 14A. Now playing

For horror fans, 2014 kicked off with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which proved that Hollywood was still keen to flog the found-footage format to make a buck. The second fright flick out of Tinseltown this year, Devil's Due, is another supernatural entry that's even heavier on Blair Witch-style hand-held camera action.

Too bad, because movies about innocent women being impregnated by satanic forces and giving birth to antichrists are frightening enough without all that jittery shit to stress you out.

Besides, even nondemonic pregnancy can be scary as hell for first-time parents.

In Devil's Due, that would be Samantha and Zach McCall (Allison Miller and Zach Gilford), who discover after returning from a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic that—despite Sam's use of the pill—they're going to have a baby. They experience all the typical anxious moments of pregnancy—like those brought on by sudden, sharp abdominal pain and that oversize needle for taking amniotic fluid—before things get weird and Sam starts gobbling raw hamburger at the supermarket.

Numerous other riffs on Roman Polanski's pioneering devil-spawn opus, Rosemary's Baby, are rolled out along the way, including the mysterious replacement of the couple's cheerful obstetrician by a humourless type better suited to the delivery of evil.

Because Zach is intent on documenting almost everything about the newlyweds' life for their kid's future viewing, the videotaping is even more unrelenting than normal in these type of movies.

But after concerned satanists install surveillance cameras throughout the McCall house and Zach starts using a hands-free "adventure cam" pinned to his chest, at least you aren't tempted to holler: "Oh, for Christ's sake, just drop the camera and run, ya stupid twit!"

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A. MacInnis
What is it with Hollywood that four times out of five it can find no more interesting motivation for Satan and Satanists than having a devil-spawn baby with a mortal female? It's a current peeve o' mine. Since Rosemary's Baby, we've had so many variations on the theme - out of my ass, without effort, I can produce To The Devil a Daughter, The Omen, House of the Dead, even the recent Lords of Salem thing (with Rob Zombie tryin' to be Ken Russell!). And now this! There are more movies where Satan wants to have a human half-breed than there are movies where zombies have a particular craving for brains. Can someone not think of a more interesting motivation? What about tried and true ones like harvesting souls, corrupting innocents, encouraging despair, or waging war with God? Can someone not borrow from The Devil's Rain or The Devil Rides Out or something, and let Rosemary's Baby NAP for awhile, please? What is it about Satan wanting to have a baby that seems so darned interesting to people?
Rating: -7
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