A Film Review
Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005
We live in fast-changing world and it is fascinating to see how popular culture, even millennia-old myths and urban legends, adapt to new technology. One of the examples for that is a belief, rather popular in certain quarters few decades ago, that heavy metal songs have contain hidden Satanist messages. This urban legend is updated in order to serve as the plot element for DEVOUR, 2005 horror film directed by David Winkler.
Protagonist of the film is Jake Gray (played by Jensen Ackles), computer science student who just turned 21. His friends Conrad (played by Teach) and Dakota (played by Dominque Swain) invite him to the bizarre on-line game called "Pathway". Jake reluctantly joins, already troubled by strange dreams and visions of brutal violence. Soon it becomes apparent that "Pathway" is more than a game and that it includes persons, organisation or force that could affect players' real lives. When Conrad and Dakota both get involved in brutal murders, Jake begins to ask some questions about true nature of the force he would have to face, especially after seeing demonic beings in his visions.
Despite its low budget, DEVOUR looked like a good opportunity for something rarely seen in Hollywood these days - a decent horror film. Script by Adam and Seth Gross had many interesting characters and subplots. The best thing about it is the ending - something that is usually the sore spot for most genre movies today. Unfortunately, unlike so many potentially great film ruined by bad ending, DEVOUR has misfortune of having good ending that can't save generally disappointing film. The weakest link of DEVOUR is director Winkler whose rapid editing leaves too many scenes unfinished and makes the whole film look cheaper than it actually is. The actors are more than fine, especially tragically underused Dominique Swain. DEVOUR also benefits from Vancouver locations, but they also bring unpleasant comparisons with classic episodes of THE X-FILES and underline the impression of DEVOUR being one big wasted opportunity.
RATING: 4/10 (+)