Freddy Beans here with a review of a great little horror film- ALONG CAME THE DEVIL.
I can tell you that trailer doesn’t do this one justice.
Jason DeVan directs off a script co-written with his wife Heather DeVan and Dylan Matlock. The main cast of characters are played by Jessica Barth, Madison Lintz, Sydney Sweeney, Bruce Davison, and Matt Dallas. DeVan Clan Productions produced and Gravitas Ventures are the distributors.
We open ALONG CAME THE DEVIL with a little blurb flashed across the screen setting everything up. Learning immediately that Ashley and her older sister Jordan have lost their mother, Sarah, recently in mysterious fashion. With Sarah gone their abusive father goes off the rails.
We meet Ashley and Jordan first as little girls, sitting in a closet together and realize they’re not there of their own volition, exactly. They are told to not utter a peep by their greasy father and when the little girls disappoint dad, they do so with hard consequences.
Fast forward to teenage Ashley (Sydney Sweeney) moving back to the old town she grew up in as Jordan heads away for college. Aunt Tanya (Jessica Barth) takes in Ashley in the hopes the familiarity of their old town will help Ashley move on from the loss of her mother and abuse of her father. Once they’re in town there’s a lot to remind her of mama, however. People pry, shadows play, and an innocent teenage girl ends up so desperate to talk to her mother again she goes to painful extremes.
I cannot give enough credit to Sydney Sweeney here. She plays this part with great physicality. One minute a shy innocent incapable of flirting with the local boy, the next a confident nymph teasing the same now confused boy, and ending in utter chaos that would leave Linda Blair nodding her head in acknowledgment. Sydney’s ability to portray who is in charge of Ashley at any given moment is commendable. She literally plays the gamut here and nails every scene she is in. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Jessica Barth as Aunt Tanya seems a background character until the final scenes where she really gets to shine. There’s a true awkwardness these two women have together that plays perfectly into their roles of an aunt trying to connect with her broken and abused niece. One who’s clearly good-natured but teetering within on her own understanding of sanity.
There’s a ton of trope jump scares throughout that normally don’t work or feel gratuitous, yet they don’t feel at all like that and this sucker just builds to its crescendo ending. Reflections mirrored out of the corner of the audiences eye are constant until the last chapter where this entire flick is turned on its demonic head.
George Troester handles the special effects in remarkable fashion. There’s a scene where a bone snaps out of the skin and snuggles back into place that was exquisite to see and clearly devoid of CGI.
In case you can’t tell I really loved this one. It’s a coming of age story we all can relate to. It’s a tale of a little girl who lost her mom too young, as a result, she feels alone in this world. We watch her test her comfort zones by going to a party and taking a daily offered ride she usually turns down. In the last chapter though, this becomes something else entirely and the trailer does portend to that turn.
My one complaint would be Reverend Michael (Bruce Davison) never felt like he belonged in the picture. I like Bruce, but not sure he brings anything to the table here. I was far more impressed with Pastor John (Matt Dallas) who plays the Father Dyer role to Reverend Michael’s Father Merrin.
This is a solid story that follows a natural path to a very unnatural conclusion. I absolutely recommend this one to any horror fans. If you love THE EXORCIST you owe yourself the time invested on this one. It’s a modern retelling of the same, where THE EXORCIST centered on those affected by lil’ Regan this one focused on Ashley and how an abused little girl could end up possessed by the need to see her mom and get much more than she bargained for.
A big thank you to Jason DeVan for allowing me to review this one early!
8 out of 10 demons agree the devil is possessive.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL is in Theaters, VOD and Digital HD August 10th.
Til next time Kids
- Freddy Beans