Writer: Sean Byrne (Screenplay)
Starring: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Kiara Glasco, Tony Amendola, Leland Orser, Craig Nigh
Plot: A struggling painter is possessed by satanic forces after he and his young family move into their dream home in rural Texas, in this creepy haunted-house tale.
Tagline – He Will Slither into your Soul.
Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Late Night Horror
Story: The Devil’s Candy starts when artist Jesse (Embry) moves his family, wife Astrid (Appleby) and teenage daughter Zooey (Glasco) to a new home, a bigger home away from their friends and family, he gets a big studio to work in, while Zooey must adapt to new school life.
As Jesse’s new work starts being the best that he has ever created, new fame starts to head his way, though Zooey starts to become a target for former home owner Ray Smile (Vince) who has a habit of killing people that get in his way. Can the family remain together before it is too late.
Thoughts on The Devil’s Candy
Characters – Jesse Hellman is an artist that has a unique way of painting his paintings, he enjoys metal music to motivate him, which shows in his relationship with his daughter and their bond through music, his latest work has gained him more attention and could finally be his big break, though his work is disturbing him too. Astrid is the wife and mother, strangely we only learn about her supportive nature. Zooey is the teenage daughter that isn’t happy about moving away from her friends, but will do it for her father’s ambition, she loves metal and dreams of having a certain guitar, which sees her becoming the targeted by Ray. Ray is the former resident of the house, he has been locked away for years now, but released, never changing and now targeting the family inside his old home, he is deadly and will follow a ritual to get through the day.
Performances – Ethan Embry and Kiara Glasco are great together as the father daughter partnership, they show the desperation they are both feeling to achieve and they come off like a real relationship, Shiri Appleby can’t be at fault for her work because character is often just dropped to the side, despite have a key involvement in the climax of the film, where she does shine. Pruitt Taylor Vince is always going to look like a creepy figure and this is no different, we do feel scared about his actions through the film.
Story – The story here follows a family that move to a remote home in Texas to start a new life, only to find themselves becoming the target of a former resident of the house that wants to continue the work he started years again. The idea behind the story is one that we have seen before, how often do we get a family being haunted or traumatized by something in the new home? Where the story does start to get a little bit messy, comes from just not seeing the true nature behind Ray, it is only implied what he has been doing. There is a clever moment involved in the film which will make sense by the end of the film too, though it does seem to not get enough time to let everything unravel.
Horror – The horror in the film comes from just how unsettling Ray is during the film and what he will do to make sure he gets everything he requires done.
Settings – The film keeps us in one of the easiest settings, with the remote house which makes it harder to escape to safety to anybody around.
Special Effects – The effects are strong in places, though the final sequence in the film doesn’t come off as strong as it could.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror that does fill the basics with ease, while pumping up the action side of the horror by the end.
Overall: By the books horror.