Director: Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye
Writer: Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye (Screenplay)
Starring: Danielle Deadwyler, Catherine Dyer, Jayson Warner Smith, Adam Boyer, Brad Carter, Luce Rains
Plot: After the disappearance of her husband, a struggling farmer in an isolated Appalachian community fights to save her son when the cold-hearted matriarch of the oldest family on the mountain demands payment of a debt that could destroy a decade’s old truce.
Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Devil to Pay starts as Lemon Cassidy (Deadwyler) raises her son in the Appalachian community, where she lives a peaceful life, until the matriarch of the oldest family Tommy Runion (Dyer) wants Lemon to pay a debt her husband left years before.
Lemon is forced to work with the other communities to clear the debt, which will see her needing to turn to the darker side of what the communities are capable of, to make sure her son remains safe.
Thoughts on The Devil to Pay
Characters & Performances – Lemon Cassidy is a woman living a calm quiet life with her son away from the world in a remote community, she is put in an impossible position to pay off a debt her husband left. She is pushed to her limits when her son’s life is put on the line, showing how far she will go to protect him against a strict matriarch. Danielle Deadwyler turns this shy, timid lady, into the ruthless figure over the cause of the film with ease. Tommy Runion is matriarch that has been using her family to maintain the power within the communities, using her calm demeanour to show her threatening behaviour. We don’t see much of this character, which helps the film because of the impact of the scenes. When it comes to the supporting characters, we get to meet the other members of the family, who filled the generic roles and the strange events of other communities in the area.
Story – The story here follows a woman that is expected to pay her late husbands debt, given little time and facing death is she doesn’t pay it. This will see the shy, timid woman that must fight back against a family that will look to take her out in an attempt of dealing the end of a truce between the families. It will create an interesting world, filled with strange communities, though it would have gotten more out of the story, if we had dived into the supernatural elements hinted at through the film. This is a story that keeps the pace slow for a reason, making you think about each moment and the impact it will have on the lives of the people involved.
Themes – The Devil to Pay is a thriller that wants to have a lot of horror involved, only for us to get the glimpses of what could be going on, while keeping everything on the time limit side of getting a job done. The film does rely on the location, using the mountain communities to show the isolation from everyday society created by them.
Signature Entertainment presents The Devil to Pay on Digital Platforms 17th January
Final Thoughts – The Devil to Pay is a slow deliberate thriller, keeping the pace with the guessing game.