Devil May Call (2013)
The Devil is not in the Detail
Having dealt with plenty of turmoil in her life Sam (Corri English) is a confident young woman who doesn't let becoming blind get in the way of life or her current job at a suicide hotline. One of those who regularly calls up is John (Tyler Mane) who refuses to speak to anyone other than Sam, getting audibly frustrated when her colleague Val (Traci Lords) tells him that Sam is quitting. What no one at the suicide hotline realises is that John is a psychotic serial killer who kidnaps young women and usually chokes them to death and now he is coming after Sam and no one is going to stop him.
I have an inkling that writer/director Jason Cuadrado has watched a fair few movies in his time as watching his "Devil May Call" I got an overbearing sense of familiarity. From the characters through to the cinematography and of course the central story of a blind woman who you know will be battling to survive a hellish night due to her crazed stalker it has all been done before. That brings the age old problem as for young audiences it might seem exciting where as for old movie hounds like myself will find it all pretty obvious and routine with little in the way of surprises as this is one of those movies where right on cue someone ends up becoming a victim when they wander of alone.
Now maybe I am being a bit mean spirited because in fairness to Jason Cuadrado "Devil May Call" is a nicely put together movie which certainly delivers a consistently tense atmosphere. The scene where one of Sam's colleagues dies has a nice sense of style about it with good use of lighting. Plus there are some little moments in the movie which add a touch of creativity to things such as a scene involving the lights going out which freaks out everyone other than Sam who of course is oblivious to the sudden darkness. But again whilst there is no doubt that "Devil May Call" is effectively put together in a manner which will work for young audiences for anyone else those things which might impress the young will do little such as the camera focusing on the wheels and wires of an elevator, signposting a horror to come by doing so.
Aside from that sense of familiarity there are the characters which are as typical bunch of people you will find. Alongside Sam we have nice guy Jess, the sort of guy who will try to save a damsel in distress, there is also the feisty Jules who you know is going to be a victim because she shows spunk and attitude although she may actually have been called Emily as this is one of those movies which doesn't do the best of jobs of making the characters memorable with maybe the exception of psycho John who is well played by Tyler Mane. In fairness Sam is also well played and Corri English has a likeable nature about her which goes a long way to making it easy to get behind her character.
What this all boils down to is that if you are young and new to horror movies "Devil May Call" may be an exciting experience. But for those who have been around the horror ball park for many a year will find it all incredibly familiar and whilst solidly put together, at least for the most, it fails to be memorable and stand out from a crowded market.
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