THE DEVIL’S CANDY
Sean Byrne, USA, 2015, DCP, 90m
Six long years may have elapsed since Aussie writer-director Sean Byrne made The Loved Ones—the closing-night film of Scary Movies 4, and perhaps the most satisfying horror film of the last decade—but it will come to no genre fan’s surprise that his follow-up was more than worth the wait. As exquisitely crafted as his debut feature, The Devil’s Candy stars a captivatingly intense and nearly unrecognizable Ethan Embry as an artist struggling to support his devoted wife (Shiri Appleby) and preteen daughter (Kiara Glasco). But the real fight for survival begins when the tight-knit family moves into a new house, unaware that its previous occupant is a royally disturbed child-killer (Pruitt Taylor Vince) who wants his home back. And even worse, the devil’s demands that swirl around in the sick man’s head—muted only by heavy-metal music—also begin taking hold of the artist and his paintings. After witnessing this intensely emotional and haunting work, audiences too will struggle to shake those demonic voices.
I had to look twice, nay, three times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Ethan Embry is a ripped, rock god in this surprising feature. I cannot express how much adored this film. With a slight Amityville feel, the latin voices heard in this film will get under your skin immediately. Loaded with seriously sick tunes from bands like Metalica and Queens of the Stoneage, the music takes on a life of its own in The Devil’s Candy. The film has an 80’s throwback feel in approaching the death metal and satanic ritual link. Visually, one of the coolest flicks I’ve seen in a while, especially for a horror. High-end effects are beautifully juxtaposed with unique paintings as each is being assembled… or disassembled as it were. The entire cast is spot on awesome. The Devil’s Candy has gorgeous framing and jump scares galore. I HIGHLY recommend you catch this particular selection if horror is truly your genre of choice. It will make your head spin and your skin crawl. It’s one of the best of 2017.