WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS
A Film by The Adams Family
On behalf of their freakish and fantastical extended family members, three Depression-era carnies leave blood in their wake from town-to-town while trying to right the wrongs committed by locals. WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS is the latest and greatest from the filmmaking phenom family Toby Poser, John, and Zelda Adams. The production design is delicious. Fall color palettes and jewel tones mingle in a curated, handmade Martha Stewart Halloween spread. The lighting is breathtaking. The Adams create stunning tableaus that are stylistically orgasmic. All of this visual feast as H6LLB6ND6R‘s newest rock songs crank in the background. The dialogue is poetic. The special makeup and practical effects by Trey Lindsay, John Adams, and Toby Poser are squirm-worthy.
Sam Rodd plays sinister magician Mr. Tibbs with a skin-crawling, almost slithery delivery. His otherworldly dealings with the devil peak Eve’s interest when she needs to keep the family together. John Adams is Seven, a PTSD-ridden army doctor. Like each of his real-life family counterparts, John Adams wears all the hats behind the camera. As Seven, post-war, the sight of blood outs him in the throw of shock. This irony plays spectacularly against their murderous tendencies.
Zelda Adams plays Eve, a primarily mute, morbidly curious young woman who only speaks in song during their act. Portraying Eve and in real life, Zelda is the best of both her parents. Her ability to keep pace with John and Toby as a writer, singer, and cinematographer is astounding. Toby Poser is Maggie, the mother hen of the circus. If you fuck with the family, you’ll regret it. Poser’s brilliant vocal stylings contrast with the darkness of Maggie’s actions. This level of specificity makes the character exponentially more disturbing, and yet you fall in love with her immediately.
As in Hellbender, menstrual blood features briefly, but its symbolic feminist nature screams off the screen for any human who bleeds every month. Normalizing periods and the power they represent is a consistent message in their filmmaking. WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS puts women in the front seat, again. The final image made my mouth drop open. It is a wow. If you haven’t seen Hellbender and The Deeper You Dig, you are in for a treat. You have a homework assignment.
The Adams’ creative world is unrelentingly impressive. WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS is another notch in their horror belt, showcasing the best in the indie business. Their loyalty to their genre family and their literal one (scan the credits for proof) is unmatched. The film features the largest cast The Adams have worked with thus far, including friends old and new in Razor de Rockefeller, Hitomi Nakamura, and Justin Julio. Their fearless and bold storytelling takes me by surprise with each new chapter. Fantasia audiences have the honor of experiencing a fresh way to make movies. I cannot wait to see whatever they have been working on overseas. I’m already counting down the days until Fantasia 2025. No doubt we’ll get a newfangled fix we never knew we needed.