Writer: Josh Lobo (Screenplay)
Starring: AJ Bowen, Susan Burke, Scott Poythress, Chris Sullivan, Jocelin Donahue, John Marrott, Rowan Russell
Plot: A man descends into paranoia after trapping what he believes to be the devil in his basement, but things take a dark turn when his family unexpectedly arrive for Christmas.
Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Intensely Atmospheric
Story: I Trapped the Devil starts when Matt (Bowen) and Karen (Burke) visit Steve (Poythress) who has been living in the family home alone for a long time. Steve has been off the radar for a reason though, which is to do with the mysterious man he has locked in his basement.
Steve believes he has trapped the devil and must convince his brother and Karen to believe this person is in fact the devil and this is for the greater good.
Thoughts on I Trapped the Devil
Characters – Steve is the man who has lived alone for too long, he has isolated himself from the world, with a man locked in his basement, one he believes is the devil. He believes he has evidence to prove this and must convince his brother this isn’t a stunt looking for attention. Matt is the brother who has returned with his wife to celebrate Christmas, he is caught in the middle as he doesn’t want to give up his brother, but knows if this is an innocent person, they can’t be kept in the basement. Karen is Matt’s wife that wanted to see the family at Christmas, she gets put in the same position, while looking at the reality that this could well be the devil.
Performances – Scott Poythress as the brother that has trapped the man, completely performs in this role, we feel his characters paranoid nature through each moment in the film, while believing he has done what he has said. AJ Bowen is great as the brother caught in the middle, we see the conflict going on in his head, while Susan Burke completes the main cast with a role that makes you see how people do believe what they can be told.
Story – The story follows one man that believes he has captured and locked up the devil in his basement, when his brother and his wife visit, he must convince them that this is the devil, while they question whether he has lost his mind or not. This story does get to pose the questions of what if somebody had captured the devil, would you risk letting them out or not? Would you risk letting the devil back into the world or is there no such thing as the devil. We get plenty of questions on how you could react, while also hearing the voice calling for help. We do get moments that are designed for shock, while most of the story is designed to keep more away from us, leaving our imaginations to run wild. This does help build the atmosphere through the film, because you just don’t know what will happen next.
Horror – The horror in the film comes from seeing how each character reacts to what could be going on if this is in fact the devil, with Steve believing he is the one in the right.
Settings – The film keeps the settings simple, we remain in the house for the whole film, this shows how the joint secret will need to be discussed, with the boundaries being drawn out.
Final Thoughts – This is an atmospheric horror that keeps us guessing by asking the difficult question about what would you do if you trapped the devil, even if it wasn’t the devil, could you risk letting them out?
Overall: Horror that makes you think.