The Devil Below (2021) Movie Review

The Devil Below – Great Creature Feature

 

Director: Bradley Parker

Writer: Eric Scherbarth, Stefan Jaworski (Screenplay)

Starring: Alicia Sanz, Adan Canto, Will Patton, Zach Avery, Chinaza Uche, Jonatha Sadowski

Plot: A group of four amateur adventurers who specialize in exploring remote and forsaken places pay a visit to Shookum Hills, a town in the remote Appalachian Mountains, which was abandoned decades ago due to a mysterious coal mine fire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Devil Below starts as four amateur adventurers led Arianne (Sanz) for a research team Darren (Canto), Jaime (Avery) and Shawn (Uche) head to a remote former mining around called Shookum Hills, a place abandoned after a mysterious fire decades before.

As the group start getting close to the mine, Darren reveals the secret to the research plan, as he looks to get to the bottom of what really happened in the mining community, only Schuttmann (Patton) a former miner has been planning to keep the secret of the mine from the outside world.

Thoughts on The Devil Below

Characters & Performances – Arianne is the guide that has the ability to find, track and get people into locations they wouldn’t normally be able to enter, she is tough with experience on her side in survival situations. She looks for more options to survive the situation the best, even if she knows they may well be outnumbered. Alicia Sanz does give us a strong performance in the leading role, being the toughest figure, we meet in the film. Darren is the man who wants to lead an investigation to the town and what happened there, he does keep secrets which will put the team in trouble, but he will make sure they are safe during the journey. Schuttmann has been keep the secret of the mine for decades, he leads the team that look to defend people from the threat at any cost. The supporting cast is filled with the typical characters who have a big of comedy, get involved in the needless side actions, who will lighten the mood from the main figures.

StoryThe story here follows four adventurers who head to an abandoned mine as they look to find answers to what happened decades ago, only to learn the truth and find themselves needing to fight to survive against an unknown set of creatures the locals have worked hard to protect from the world. This is a fun little creature feature, that will dive into the ideas that the world could have had creatures around before humans and have become hidden, waiting for the chance to escape. The style is all good, slowly revealing the creatures as the film unfolds, showing just how many people will quietly go about protecting the world.

ThemesThe Devil Below is a horror thriller that will dive into the creature feature style that will give us a fresh approach to what we are seeing in the creations. The idea of the abandoned locations have secrets is something we have seen before and if used correctly it will work, like this does, bringing a community together for the greater good.

Final Thoughts The Devil Below is a fun creature feature, with original idea that is gripping from start to finish.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – A – Arizona (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Watson

Writer: Luke Del Tredici (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lolli Sorenson, Luke Wilson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson, David Alan Grier

Plot: Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder.


Tagline – The heat is on. But it’s a dry heat.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strange Dark Comedy

Story: Arizona starts as we meet single mother and real estate agent Cassie (DeWitt), trying to sell houses in Arizona on the new builds, she is struggling with her own house payments, with work not going well, one day her boss gets accidentally killed by Sonny (McBride), who takes Cassie hostage to clear up what happened.

When things get more out of control, he takes Morgan (Sorenson), Cassie’s daughter, which leads to the race against time to get out of this alive, as Sonny will do anything to get out of jail.

Thoughts on Arizona

Characters – Sonny is a customer who has purchases a home he can’t afford, he wants help, only to accidentally kill the owner, instead of calling the police, he decides to try and cover up the crime, which involves kidnapping and murder, he is a complete loose cannon that can easily spiral out of control. Cassie is the local real estate agent that has been struggling with making sales, she witnesses the accident, which sees her needing to answers correctly to survive and will keep her daughter safe. Morgan is the daughter that gets bought into the middle of this, while giving us all the rebellious teenage daughter traits. Scott is the ex-husband and father that lives away from the family, he knows he made mistakes and is always willing to offer to help in anyway with Morgan.

PerformancesDanny McBride is strange in this leading role because he does give elements of his comedy, while also being psychotic along the way. Rosemarie DeWitt is strong as the mother that will do anything to protect her daughter, while Luke Wilson does get laughs along the way, mostly with his arguments and the rest of the cast don’t do anything wrong through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a real estate agent and mother that must protect her daughter after witnessing a murder by a man that doesn’t want to get involved with the police and goes on a kill rampage. This is a story that needs the element of comedy to work, because of how out there the idea is, we see how each seen Sonny gets more psychotic and dangerous along with how far Cassie will go to save her daughter. It does feel like it could be a music video with how it unfolds, because the comedy edge for Sonny does make this feel less threatening than it is.

ComedyThe comedy in the film is very dark, it nearly all comes from Danny McBride and how his actions unfold, with Luke Wilson getting some laughs along the way with his arguments with his new girlfriend.

SettingsThe film uses the new builds in Arizona to show us the isolation these locations hold and just how far they could make people go if they were to start losing money from them.


Scene of the Movie – Scott Arrives.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It lacks that final punch.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting comedy thriller that does offer up a fresh spin on the genre, one that does make the dark comedy shine through, even if it lacks that final punch.

Overall: Dark Comedy 101.