Writer: Kurt Spieler (Screenplay)
Starring: Bryan Manley Davis, Chris Viemeister, David Alexander, Kristen Seavey, Jon Gregory, Lauren Sowa
Plot: Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband. A year after her disappearance, a group of paranormal investigators attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance.
Tagline – Have You Seen Karla Marks
Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Horror Done Well
Story: The Devil’s Well starts as we learn the aftermath of Karla Marks disappearance, her along with her husband Bryan (Davis) had been conducting a paranormal investigation of a place known as The Devil’s Well. This is done with interview styles of the different people in their family and friends that know about her love of paranormal investigation and for her husband.
One year later Bryan asks his college friends who have their own team SIGNS run by Lucas Baker (Viemeister) and includes, Kris Manners (Alexander), Riley Harper (Seavey), Dennis Howard (Gregory), Lynn Baker (Sowa) and film maker Kurt Schafer (Spieler), to go back to the Devil’s Well to learn the truth about what happened on that night.
Thoughts on The Devil’s Well
Characters – Bryan Marks is one half of a paranormal investigating team, his wife goes missing on one of their investigations, he spends a year being accused of foul play, but turns to an old friend to hopeful find the answers for him, Lucas Baker takes his team to investigate the Devil’s Well hoping to help his friend find answers and put any suspicious about his friend behind them. The rest of the characters are members of the team, as everything is told in interview form we don’t need extra development given to these characters as they are designed to be part of a regular TV or Web series.
Performances – The performances are a judged on how much we believe them to be a real team and people making an investigation about what happened on that date. I feel the performances are good throughout the film not looking out of place in this style of film.
Story – The film starts in interview format, similar to what Lake Mundo did, this helps because it gets to look at what has been reported to have happened and why this new investigation is going to be happening. Once we enter the building it does turn into a paranormal investigation gone bad story, it has elements of new material, but otherwise tends to follow the trends set by the many films before it. We could have worked with the interview format for longer in the film because that would have bought us a newer element to this idea even if the final fifteen minutes are creepy as you can imagine.
Horror – The horror dives into the ideas of paranormal investigation gone wrong, we do have moments of found footage, but the shaky cam does make sense because the team is looking for answers.
Settings – The film takes place inside the building with the well in, it gives us the creepy isolated location that feels haunted while they investigate the truth.
Special Effects – The effects are only used when needed, the film doesn’t need them for the most part.
Final Thoughts – This is a good horror, it follows the ideas of Lake Mundo and a paranormal investigation movie, this does work for the most part and does have the documentary feel the film wants.
Overall: Good slow burning horror.