Here Comes the Devil (Ahi va el diablo) (2012)

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Released 19-Feb-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Trailer-30+ trailers for Accent releases
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 93:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Adrián García Bogliano
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Francisco Barreiro
Laura Caro
Alan Martinez
Michele Garcia
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Julio Pillado


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Here Comes the Devil (Ahi va el diablo) commences with a lesbian love scene before one of the girls is attacked by a man welding a machete. The other girl intervenes and the man flees to a hillside where, in front of a cave, he spills a collection of severed fingers from his bag then disappears. The scene then switches to a family enjoying a day out in the sun. They are Felix and his wife Sol (Francisco Barreiro / Laura Caro), their daughter Sara (Michele Garcia), who is having her first period, and slightly younger son Adolfo (Alan Martinez). In the afternoon the children wander off into the hills and do not return. Their distraught parents report their disappearance to the police but nothing can be done in the dark and before the search can start the next day the children reappear, seemingly unharmed.

     However all is not well. The two children speak little, there seems to be a strange bond between them and they start missing school. There are also strange noises and disturbances within the house. When Sol takes the siblings to a child psychiatrist it seems that Sara may have been sexually assaulted; both children draw a red van which Felix remembers seeing on the evening of their disappearance. Felix and Sol track down the driver, Lucio, and believing that he had assaulted Sara take matters into their own hands with brutal consequences. But the disturbances in the house continue and Sol starts to believe that the answer to what is happening lies in that cave on the hillside and sets out to investigate.

     Here Comes the Devil is an impressive psychological horror / mystery film where much is left unsaid, much is left unseen. It is a film that explains very little and nothing is overstated: there are inferences and clues that gradually built a sense of dread and disorientation. The film is unsettling because everything feels natural; this could almost be a camera watching in on real life scenes between husband and wife as they try to come to terms with what is happening, and what may have happened. The dialogue is fragmented, and feels unstaged, the acting from both Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro impressive. However, juxtaposed with this “ordinariness” writer / director Adrian Garcia Bogliano has superimposed camera moves that zoom in on faces accompanied by loud, atonal machine like effects in the sound stage. Indeed, the audio of Here Comes the Devil is deliberately very loud, perhaps 4/5 stops louder on my system than usual, but even then the effects and music are louder still, producing an discordant, unsettling atmosphere.

     While the film is gory in one particular scene, giving it an R rating, this is not a film for those who prefer their horror to be drenched in blood and gore. It is a film about a mystery, where fragments of scenes and conversations are important, where sex and guilt and violence are intertwined and where an audience can make much, or little, of the strong association with female sexuality that pervades the film: the opening lesbian scene, menstruation, the v***** like cave opening. Much is unseen and the film is all the more tense and frightening because of this restraint while the ending is sudden and unexpected, but unlike some horror films it is perfectly in tune with what has gone before.

     Here Comes the Devil has divided viewers, but for me it is a mesmerising piece of intelligent filmmaking that is very different from most horror films that are being churned out today.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Here Comes the Devil is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is a soft looking print that is also quite dark. Colours are muted with only a few scenes, even in daylight, where the colours look light and natural. However, blacks and shadow detail are fine, skin tones good, brightness and contrast consistent. I noticed no artefacts or marks.

     US English subtitles are in a creamy font. There are a couple of grammatical errors. At 49:21 the clumsy “Why did the kids didn’t wake up?” and at 75:02If only I would knew” but otherwise they were fine.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     As noted above, this audio track is deliberately very loud! However, dialogue is easy to hear with the discordant effects and music being utilised in non-dialogue sections. When this occurs however it is very loud throughout the sound stage, the rears and sub-woofer being fully utilised. At other times the surrounds and rears were also used for ambient effects such as dogs barking and insect sounds, and there were directional effects such as doors closing and some panning effects. The sub-woofer frequently added a machine like rumble of bass.

     The score by Julio Pillado is often atonal, and is used to create tension and mood very effectively.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for Hatched, Sawney, Q, Day and Night and Wake Up and Die that collectively run 9:54. A total of 30 trailers for Accent Film Entertainment releases can be selected from the menu - most of the start-up trailers are repeated and we do get a trailer for Here Comes the Devil. There is a “play all” option.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray of Here Comes the Devil includes a number of extras including a director’s commentary, extended scene, behind the scenes comparison, rehearsals, photo gallery and an EPK as well as trailers. However I cannot find a review of the Region 1 US DVD and Amazon.com does not list any extras, so it may not have any. The Region 2 UK DVD release does not have the above extras. For DVD call it a draw for now.

Summary

     Here Comes the Devil is a mesmerising piece of filmmaking that is very different from most horror films that are being churned out today. It has multiple layers and will reward those who like to think about their horror films.

     The video is acceptable, the audio is loud! The only extras are a raft of trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, April 11, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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