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Film reviews

Devil's Due (15)

Devil's Due (15)

Dirs: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

With: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford

Runtime: 89mins

HORROR fans feeling they are long overdue a good genre entry should steer well clear of Devil's Due, a Rosemary's Baby for the Paranormal Activity generation. Co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the film follows a happy couple (Allison Miller and Zach Gilford) as they marry, head off on honeymoon to the Dominican Republic, get duped into attending a bizarre party and come back home to find themselves pregnant with the Antichrist.

As is the horror norm nowadays, all of what takes place is relayed via camcorder to give it a supposedly raw, realistic feel. But the jumps, mostly using night vision, are telegraphed and repetitive while the psychological element that made Roman Polanski's inspiration so enduring is completely missing here. A blood-soaked, bonkers climax is laughably bad and, worse, comes with a blatant attempt to set up potential sequels. But this should never have got past the conception stage.

Reviewed by Rob Carnevale

The Night of the Hunter (12)

Dir: Charles Laughton

With: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters

Runtime: 92 minutes

FAR ahead of its time on its release in 1955, Charles Laughton's crime drama, newly restored by Glasgow's Park Circus, still sends a shiver down the backbone, largely due to the unforgettable performance of Robert Mitchum as the preacher man with love and hate tattooed on his knuckles, but mostly hate in his heart for women. Determined to rob a widow (Shelley Winters) of a bank haul hidden by her late husband, Mitchum's Harry Powell is a force of evil taking on the innocents. Lillian Gish gives Mitchum's villain a run for his ill-gotten gains as a Mother Hubbard of Depression era America. Fabulous.

Glasgow Film Theatre, January 17-23

Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus (18)

Dir: Sebastian Silva

With: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman

Runtime: 96 minutes

TV's Arrested Development aside, Michael Cera has not made much of a splash since the springboard hits of Juno and Superbad seven years ago. This dreary, druggie comedy is not likely to change the scores on the doors much. Cera stars as Jamie, an American in Chile determined to drink the juice of the magical cactus of the title, and have an out of his mind, out of this world experience. Tagging along with the group of amigos is hippy dippy chick, and fellow American, Crystal Fairy.

Jamie cannot decide whether he finds Crystal Fairy intriguing or superbly annoying, and the viewer might feel the same about this stoner comedy, for the first 10 minutes anyway.

After that, between Jamie's whining and Crystal Fairy's relentless kookiness, the picture takes on that 4am at a party feel and one would rather be anywhere than in the tiresome company of these folks.

Glasgow Film Theatre, January 17-23

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