Movie Review: The Devil’s Hand


Director : Christian E. Christiansen
Screenwriter : Karl Mueller 
Genre : Horror, Thriller
Cast  : Jennifer Carpenter, Rufus Sewell, Adelaide Kane, Leah Pipes, Alycia Debnam Care, Thomas McDonell, Colm Meaney, Nicole Elliott
Release Date : November 13, 2014
Run time      : 80 minutes
Synopsis : When six girls are born on the sixth day of the sixth month to different mothers in the small, devout village of New Bethlehem an ancient prophecy is set in motion. On their 18th birthday one of the girls will become the Devil’s Hand. As the day approaches and one by one the young women begin to disappear, terror overtakes the quiet community and those remaining girls band together to uncover who or what is behind these treacherous acts.
UAE Rating : TBC PG 13
Trailer : The Devil’s Hand
IMDB Link   : The Devil’s Hand

 

1-13-11-2014_The Devils HandYou must have heard about the new horror movie, The Devil’s Hand which is releasing today.

When I first heard that it has Rufus Sewell, Adelaide Kane, Jennifer Carpenter and Leah Pipes, I was instantly sold 😀

With such a cast nothing can go wrong, right?

WRONG!

The Devil’s Hand is a perfect example of why the true Horror enthusiasts shouldn’t watch any movie rated PG-13 because more often than not it’s an adulterated and sheared version of the original movie.

Anyway, the starting credits looked promising and scary enough for me. I was totally hooked.

At first, it looked like the movie was set somewhere in the 19th century but it’s actually supposed to be an Amish village (none of the men had beards, so go figure), New Bethlehem.

_MG_8408.CR2

(Amish are a small, closely-knit, conformist and religious community that reject the modern world facilities and live like old times)

The movie starts with a labor room where 6 mothers were in labor. It was June 6, 1994. Five girls were already been born. If the last baby were to be a girl then the prophecy would come true. The prophecy that 6 girls will be born on the 6th day of the 6th month and one among them would become the “Drommelkind” aka “The Devil’s Hand” and the Devil will inhabit her soul at the stroke of midnight on her 18th birthday and she will work alongside the Satan.

_MG_9663.CR25 girls after their birth

Do the math: 6+6+6= 666. Get it??? Good 😀 It wasn’t tough, was it?? 😛

The town leader, Elder Beacon (Colm Meaney) was ready with a scythe in his hand to kill the infants in order to stop the prophecy from being fulfilled but was thwarted by Jacob Brown (Rufus Sewell), father of the one of the babies(Mary), who doesn’t believe in any of this devil’s hand crap.

_MG_6782.CR2Elder Beacon

And then the 6th girl was born kicking into motion the dreaded prophecy. The mother, afraid of the prophecy, kills the baby and then herself in order to stop the prophecy from being implemented.

_MG_9191.CR2Parents of Mary, Jacob and Rebekah Brown

18 years later, the five girls, Mary (Alycia Debnam Carey), Ruth (Adelaide Kane), Sarah (Leah Pipes), Abigail (Katie Garfield) and Hannah (Nicole Elliott), are fast friends now. They are like any other teenager.

_MG_5693.CR2The 5 girls

All the actors were suitable for their roles except Leah Pipes.

Yeah, she is beautiful but she doesn’t look anywhere like a 17 going on 18. In fact, she looked about 10 years too old for her role. At first, I thought she was mother of one of the girls. 😛

_MG_7116.CR2Mary and Sarah_MG_8204.CR2Mary and Ruth

As the girls’ 18th birthday approached, terrifying (??) things begin to happen or at least that was what the director meant to show. There was nothing terrifying about the chasing and killing of the girls by a hooded entity.

_MG_0130.CR2The Killer

Mary’s seizures and premonitions about the other girls being murdered weren’t even remotely terrifying at all. As it is with premonitions, the girl gets murdered soon after Mary’s vision.

_MG_1018.CR2_MG_6930.CR2

It’s hard to say whether this is a good movie or a bad one. Some parts are good as they are well-made. But at the same time the movie itself is monotonous and kind of boring.

When we think of Thriller or Horror, we think of adrenaline pumping ride, something that would keep us on the edge of our seats. That thrilling element is missing from this movie. It goes on monotonously with a few (very few in my opinion) thrilling basics thrown here and there haphazardly.

The one thing that struck extremely odd to me was that even after being branded as someone who might turn into a devil on their 18th birthday, the girls were living a normal life. The whole village, which was supposed to regard them as if they were the devil himself, was treating them as normal as it gets. It’s rather peculiar. Being an Amish is hard in itself but shouldn’t it have been terrible when everyone thought you to be the devil??

_MG_9065.CR2Girls on an ordinary day

Shouldn’t the girls feel the weight and stress of this??? Instead, they all looked quite carefree, happy and at ease.

The movie is filled with instances that defy reason. Hannah, who was the first one to go, did an absolutely obtuse thing. She actually climbed down into a well and hung unsteadily by the rope, instead of running to the nearby town when the killer chased her.

Who goes into a well to hide while being chased by a killer???

Seriously!!!

Originally it was titled “Where the Devil Hides”. One of the scenes in the movie actually goes well with this former title. According to Elder Beacon, the Devil hides in our sinful bodies and in order to check the whether the devil is hiding in the bodies of the young girls, he made them undergo “naked” examination which was mortifying and embarrassing for the girls. Elder Beacon was the creepiest of all and it was hinted that he might have been behind the killings of the girls.

There was something missing from the movie. It appeared that it was revised and then tempered to conform to the PG-13 standards but that is what made this movie lost its appeal. If this was R-rated it might have been interesting.

As this was marketed as a horror flick, the director should have included more paranormal features, blood and gore in the movie instead of making it a thriller and that too, not a good one.

Actually it looked as if that the director couldn’t seem to decide whether he wanted to make a teenage romantic flick with just a little bit of thrill or a thriller with no amount of thrill or a horror flick sans horror.

IMG_5421.CR2Not-so-necessary romantic interest of Mary, Trevor

He was in dilemma which showed throughout the movie. He brought all of this together arbitrarily which resulted in the mess the movie was.

I emphasized too much on the negative aspects of the movie. There’s at least something good about almost all the movies, isn’t it? Let me tell you the best thing about The Devil’s Hand. It is its cast and cinematography. Frank Godwin’s cinematography was excellent. He captured the beauty of New Bethlehem magnificently.

_MG_8420.CR2 _MG_7580.CR2 _MG_6038.CR2

Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Carpenter, Adelaide Kane, Leah Pipes, Thomas McDonell did all that they could to salvage their badly-written roles.

Jennifer Carpenter’s (Rebekah, Wife of Jacob and stepmother to Mary) only role was to look like there was something unpleasant under her nose all through the movie and scowl every time Mary was in front of her. I couldn’t understand why she was angry all the time.  Her expressions insinuated that she knew something the rest of us didn’t and we weren’t even told what it was *Exasperated* Hey director! Kindly keep your actors’ expressions in check lest she/he should mislead the viewers *Angry*

_MG_9849.CR2I know something that you don’t and I’m not going to tell you even if you die 😛

Colm Meaney’s (Elder Beacon) role was to look obsessive in his determination to stop the devil at all costs but doing nothing except preaching about it *Rolling Eye* 

Even though Rufus Sewell’s role was that of a thoughtful and compassionate person, it was just for the sake of it.

There wasn’t any depth in any of the actor’s role.

In my opinion the role of Mary should have been given to Adelaide Kane. She’s an excellent actor and has an spark which would have been perfect for this role which was missing in Alycia Debnam Carey.

_MG_5706.CR2

The director failed to deliver the religious paranoia and divergence of an Amish village in an influential manner.

At the very end, the director might have thought, “Oh crap! We were supposed to make a horror flick! Let me add something now that might appease the (by now, totally) frustrating and maddened viewers.”

And ends the movie in a perfectly eerie manner. But it was way too little, too late and too fast. The movie couldn’t be salvaged then.

_MG_9401.CR2_MG_9310.CR2_MG_9491.CR2The End

It only served to point out how dispassionately the entire movie was made. The only action that was gripping was in its last few seconds.

Final Thoughts:

It appears that if there weren’t all the trimming, adulteration and cuts, this could have been a good movie. There was potential in the story and it could have been skillfully written. We were only shown what it was instead of what it could have been.

It was predictable, which is bad for any movie. It wasn’t original; there was nothing in it that we hadn’t already seen in any horror flick. 

This movie is not meant for true horror movie veterans. It is more suitable for the younger spectators who are new to the world of horror movies. They will surely like it. You know, those kids who like Goosebumps. 😛 Don’t laugh! You were one of them once 😛 😀

But for us, horror veterans, it something we could pass up and live.

I’m giving it 3 stars just because it has some great actors and beautiful scenery. 

Samareen’s Rating (Out of 5):

3stars

 

 

Ciao,

samar

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Your comments make my day. I really love and appreciate when you take out time to comment on my posts and share what you think of them. I hope to keep on hearing from my readers. Thank you for stopping by :) XO, Samareen

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