ABC Film Challenge – Horror – D – Devil’s Gate (2017) Movie Review


Director: Clay Staub

Writer: Peter Aperlo, Clay Staub (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Schull, Shawn Ashmore, Mile Ventimiglia, Bridget Regan, Jonathan Frakes, Sarah Constible

Plot: Seeking a missing woman in North Dakota, an FBI agent and a sheriff focus on her religious zealot husband but discover something far more sinister.

Tagline – Pray they are never found.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Alien Invasion with a Twist

Story: Devil’s Gate starts when FBI agent Daria Francis (Schull) arrives in the small town of Devil’s Gate, escorted by local cop Conrad ‘Colt’ Salter (Ashmore), she is here to investigate the disappearance of a woman. The easy clue points the finger at her husband Jackson Pritchard (Ventimiglia) who lives on his remote ranch, which is surrounded with traps and barbwire, with a secret in his basement.

What the two discover in the basement will leave them in shock, as Jackson has been holding a creature in his basement, the creature he believes took his family, holding it until he family is returned, seeing the three needing to work together to solve bigger problem they are going to be facing.

Thoughts on Devil’s Gate

Characters – Agent Daria Francis is an FBI agent with a troubled past, with her latest case leading to the death of a suspect, she has taken this case in hope of making up for her past, she doesn’t mean to step on toes, but does want to investigate correctly, with a fresh mind, which sees her trying to be the voice of reason. Conrad Salter is the local deputy that is always friendly with everyone around town, he is a nice guy cop, trying to balance the line between helping an outsider and remaining friends with the locals. Jackson Pritchard is the hot head farmer that has become the main suspect in the missing person case, only to show a darker secret to why he is holding his home to be like a prison, though he has motivation for doing what he wants to do.

PerformancesAmanda Schull as the FBI agent is great in the film, she shows the calm required for the role. Shawn Ashmore as the local cop is strong for the most part, the character does take a twist at times, but otherwise he works well as the nice guy. Milo Ventimiglia is fun to watch as the unhinged character in the film too.

StoryThe story follows what seems like a routine missing person investigation, only for everything to take a dramatic twist into why the missing person has gone. This does have plenty of twists in how everything is unfolding, it will keep us guessing as to watch is causing most of the changes to have an impact in where the story will go. It does enough to be original in the field too because with the core of the story, it could easily be something we have seen before.

Horror/Sci-fi The horror in this film comes from the events of the night, the isolation, darkness and invading threat to the people in the home, it all comes into effect through the film, with the sci-fi side adding to the horror with visits from space.

SettingsMost of the film takes place in one location, the farm, which is filled with traps, has secrets in each door and is waiting to give us more to the story in every scene.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work well enough, we have a nice creature creation, while dealing with most weaknesses being covered with darkness.

Scene of the Movie – The first visitor.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How the local cops are acting.

Final Thoughts This is a nice horror sci-fi that does have enough twists along the way to keep us guessing, while also being original enough to stand on its own.

Overall: Nice Spin on Alien Invasion.

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