Review: “The Devil’s Candy” – A Pure Demonic Spectacle
The Devil has always been a prominent character within story telling. Since the dawn of the new testament, Lucifer has plagued evil and been the lead of all things bad. It is natural that horror stories would gravitate towards him and the destruction he brings. In recent memory, the devil has shown himself in a multitude of ways across the genre from exorcisms to metaphysical manifestations. IFC Midnight has a new take on the beast from the fire filled down under with their latest release The Devil’s Candy.
Director Sean Byrne presents an incredibly unique tale with his latest flick, as it breaks the boundaries and preconceived notions of what a demonic theme has shown us in the past. Starring Ethan Embry from Cheap Thrills and Can’t Hardly Wait alongside Shiri Appleby in the following tale:
A not-so-average family wrestles with Satan in a house from hell in this heavy metal-charged shocker from the director of The Loved Ones. Diehard metalhead and struggling artist Jesse (Ethan Embry) moves with his wife (Shiri Appleby) and daughter (Kiara Glasco) to a middle-of-nowhere Texas town, unaware that the new house they got for an unbelievable deal comes with a grisly history. Disturbing demonic goings-on culminate with the appearance of Ray (The Walking Dead’s Pruitt Taylor Vince). He’s the home’s former resident, and he’s here to do the Devil’s bidding. The cranked-to-eleven soundtrack blasts Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, and a thunderous original score by doom rock legends Sunn O)))
The first and most obvious aspect is the dynamic between Ethan and his daughter played by Kiara Glasco. It was wonderful to see a metal loving artist portrayed in such a realistic manner with Ethan. From the pure love he showed his family to the fun they have together, he diminished any stereotype ever associated with the heavy music genre. Up until things went array, he was responsible, caring, and loving and through phenomenal performances, it showed. On top of the stars our antagonist, Pruitt Taylor Vince truly stole the show with his unhinged and unpredictable mannerisms truly pushing the story in the direction it deserved.
Metal and horror have always lived simultaneously together and this film proves no difference. The heart pounding soundtrack including Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera are the perfect backdrop for this story. It adds a realistic nature to the story being told, basically grounding it in reality versus creating an over the top cinematic world of demonic possessions. The gritty nature of the music adds to the overall presentation of the film in a way that allows for The Devil’s Candy to be unique.
Sean Byrne who gave us The Loved Ones with his first feature, truly showed he is a powerhouse in the indie horror genre. Two films, both unique in their own manner and both with superb direction which shines through each and every frame. The Devil’s Candy is no different. Sean shows off his ability in the way he portrays characters internally and externally. He is a true master at using the camera to his advantage to show dominance or inner turmoil or even disappointment. Whatever emotion the audience needs to feel, he either pulls it out of his actors or uses camera tricks to achieve his desired feeling.
Pure emotionally charged direction, a stellar cast, and a rocking soundtrack bled together with a kick-ass story have led this to our favorite film of the year thus far. Sean Byrne is a pure horror force not to mess with who borderlines madness in the best way possible.
IFC Midnight releases The Devil’s Candy on March 17 and we highly recommend you find it this weekend and watch it. For more information be sure to check out The Devil’s Candy on FACEBOOK. Also be sure to listen to Ethan talk the making of the film on We Are Indie Horror’s podcast TEA TIME OF TERROR.
Editor Note: All the cool poster art is done by the incredibly talented Ken Taylor
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