Winter is home to many festivities: Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc… No matter what or where you celebrate, there’s no denying the best part is getting to see your family, right? Sadly this is not the case for Matt and his wife Karen. After making a surprise appearance at the home of his estranged brother Steve to celebrate the holidays, Steve drops a major bombshell on the couple: There is a man trapped in the basement. But not just any man, claims Steve, because he believes that his hostage is none other than The Devil. Once they get past the initial shock, Matt and Karen now have to face facing a terrifying quandary: Has Steve completely lost his mind? Or is the stranger in question really evil in human form? Either way, string up the multicolored lights, make yourself a cup of cocoa and strap in for Josh Lobo’s new slow burn thriller, I Trapped the Devil. It just might make you love the holiday season a little bit more.
Now I love me a horror movie with a holiday connection incorporated into the plot. Why? Because it makes it fun. I mean, a movie about the Christmas holiday from hell? Sign me up immediately. I will confess that the build up maybe a little slow for my taste. This movie isn’t going to make you jump out of your seat with fright right out of the gate. However, it will leave you with a delightfully haunting feeling that sinks down to the pit of your stomach and lingers there like sludge.
I Trapped The Devil also earns major points in my book for not being too heavy with the special effects. Even what Steve believes to be The Devil isn’t represented by some CGI mess; just a menacing voice behind a door. Simple but very effective. The result being a slow burn flick that finishes the experience off with a graceful, Black Mirror-like ending. It’s a constant mind game with twists and turns that makes viewers question everything they see. Nothing like good old fashioned paranoia to intensify your movie watching experience, am I right?
Also See: The Rabid Dog’s House: Wait Until Dark
I Trapped the Devil checks off most of my boxes: Original and sinister plot, gorgeous camera work, and a stellar cast, with its all-star being Susan Burke as Karen. If I did need to address a complaint it would be the lack of backstory in a few departments: Why is Steve and Matt’s relationship so strained? How did Steve decide that the person in his basement was The Devil? How long were they being held hostage? Devil or not, how did Steve trap this individual? Maybe that’s just me being nitpicky and I’ll readily admit that less is sometimes more, but it would’ve been interesting to know the answers to these pressing questions.
I Trapped the Devil will premiere in select theaters and On- Demand April 26th via IFC Midnight! Do yourself a favor and give it a look!
Wicked Rating: 7/10
Director(s): Josh Lobo
Writer(s): Josh Lobo
Stars: Susan Burke, AJ Bowen, Scott Poythress
Studio/Production Company: IFC Midnight
Run Time: 82 minutes