There’s such a bounty in found footage horrors these days that it’s always nice when you stumble upon one that is actually surprisingly decent. Directed by Mark Huber, Chasing the Devil, doesn’t just rely on formulaic and predictable scares. It has more to say than that.
Chasing the Devil begins with Patrick (Tim Phillipps- Neighbours) talking into the camera and explaining he’s had the following video edited to use as evidence. This explanation also comes with a warning that no one outside of the authorities should view the contents of his recordings, for everyone who has done so before died under mysterious circumstances.
Patrick is still trying to get over his sister’s recent passing and doesn’t accept the explanation of her mysterious death as suicide. After a Roman holiday, Abby attacked the pope and her family had her committed to a mental ward. Years later, Abby was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her halfway house bearing satanic symbols that were etched into her skin.
With his best friend and cameraman Frank (Ary Katz) in tow, Patrick teams up with a group paranormal investigators, the Para Shooters, to investigate the house where his sister died. Leading the group is psychic Thomas (Corey Knauf- The Hamiltons), along with his team, technician Grant (Chris Yule – The Common Cult TV Series) and the shows presenter Becky (Vivan Dugre).
After a bumpy start with blood pouring from the wall, smart thinking Patrick takes a sample and forwards it to his detective police buddy, which brings on even more strange occurrences. After witnessing another suicide and spotting strange symbols within the blood, the group end up at the house of the Tynan’s. The couple’s daughter, Hailey (Elisa Eberle – Tiger Eyes), appears to be suffering from the same symptoms of possession that Patrick’s sister had suffered from before her untimely suicide. Chasing the Devil comes together as a mystery requiring the paranormal investigation team to uncover the demon’s identity, its intent, and the truth connecting several previous cases of possession, before it gets a grip on them all.
I liked the fact that there wasn’t too much ‘behind the scenes’ footage. Normally we get characters constantly talking to each other about more personal things that are completely irrelevant to the story, but in Chasing the Devil, the characters mainly stay on topic which was a refreshing change. There were one or two dumb moments where characters walk off into dark basements and the like, but thankfully those instances are far and few between.
The acting isn’t all that amazing or memorable, but that’s pretty standard with found footage flicks, though Elise Eberle who plays possessed Hailey definitely stole the scenes in which she appeared.
Director Haber keeps things moving along at a brisk pace. The visual effects are expertly handled as well. Chasing the Devil has a decent story and keeps up the intrigue and entertainment. If possession movies are your thing, I’m sure you’ll get some kicks from it as I did.
WICKED RATING: [usr 5]
Title: Chasing the Devil
Director(s): Mark Haber
Writer(s): Douglas Segal
Stars: Tim Phillipps, Vivan Dugré, Chris Yule
Studio/ Production Co: Film Harvest
Sub-Genre: Found Footage, Possession Movies