American Ghost Story, Devil's Mile (2014)
Directed by: Joseph O'Brien
Written by: Joseph O'Brien
Starring: Amanda Joy Lim, Casey Hudecki, Craig Porritt, David Hayter, Frank Moore, Maria del Mar, Samantha Wan, Shara Kim
DEVIL’S MILE (2014)
Written and directed by Joseph O’Brien
A trio of kidnappers end up lost and on a road to nowhere when they collide with another vehicle. Whilst inspecting the damage, their two Asian captives make a bid to escape with one of them meeting a grisly end. But a death on their hands is the least of their worries as they find themselves trapped on the road with something much worse…
Supernatural horror cum road crime thriller, DEVIL’S MILE is an inventive, engrossing independent movie which grips the viewer from the word go. Starring a small but very strong cast and set in an isolated, barren location, the film feels very tight and claustrophic which works to the film’s advantage.
The criminal trio on the road reminds me of the Gecko brothers in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Til Dawn, in as much the fact that the beginning of the movie is much more focused on the crime the characters are committing until midway through when the film turns into something else, in this case a supernatural horror. In the place of the Gecko brothers, DEVIL’S MILE has the psychotic, ruthless Toby (X-Men 1 and 2 writer and voice of Snake (Metal Gear Solid series), David Hayter), motherly but stern Cally (Marina Del Mar) and youngblood tagalong Jacinta (played by stunt woman and actress, Casey Hudecki), who are working for the mysterious boss, Mr Arkadi (Rabid‘s Frank Moore). The trio are badass right from the beginning and you can tell they are a group of people you wouldn’t want to mess with, even if they seem a little disorientated and flustered after becoming lost on the mystery road. We find out very little why they captured the two Asian girls, who are tied up inside the car’s trunk, but soon the reasons don’t matter when they are hounded by something more fearsome and demonic than they could possibly rationalise.
Joseph O’Brien has created a visually strong movie, with a script and cast that keeps the viewer entertained and glued to the screen at all times. In a movie such as this, where little goes on in a limited location, a weak script and poor performances would be blindingly obvious and would cause the movie to fall flat on its face. O’Brien does’t have this issue as he delivers a tense environment that oozes something unspeakably creepy and unnerving – an assault on all sense of the viewer.
The blend of digital FX works well and comes across much better than those films which wholly rely on CGI for scares. The tension created just by an empty van, darkness, a flash light and the main actresses is enough to get your blood pumping and your survival instincts kicking in before actually seeing what lies within the darkness. The inhuman noises added to the mix throw the viewer into that space and time with the characters themselves, so much so that the viewer themselves will feel breathless in a bid for survival.
Clever ideas executed well with genuinely scary horror elements and an amazing cast make Joseph O’Brien’s DEVIL’S MILE a must watch.