Bradley Parker’s ‘The Devil Below’ (2021): The Darkness Shows Our Fears And True Selves – Movie Review

I have accepted death. I understand that it is a part of life and nothing can be done to stop it. It is something we face in our lives regarding family members, pets, loved ones, and friends, but for me, it’s the experiences we go through that can be summed up as heaven or hell… the stories we don’t—or do—want to remember. The film, The Devil Below, makes us think of those times.

Bradley Parker (Chernobyl Diaries 2012) steps in as director again for his latest film, The Devil Below.

Synopsis:

A group of four amateur adventurers who specialize in exploring remote and forsaken places pay a visit to Shookum Hills, a town in the remote Appalachian Mountains, which was abandoned decades ago due to a mysterious coal mine fire.

I was pleased that The Devil Below isn’t found footage film based on the plot alone, but after watching, I realized that it gets under my skin and makes me feel uneasy since I’m not aware of what’s happening. Case in point: the opening sequence has a great way of showing the viewers what kind of film you’re about to watch. There’s no lengthy dialogue and no back story, just a fresh kill where we don’t even see who or what may have done it. Now, this given horror movie taked place in the mountains. The story could’ve resulted in backwoods cannibal killers, but we’re treated to terrifying monsters which I’ll talk about later on.

Alicia Sanz (From Dusk till Dawn TV series) plays Arianne who’s on a quest to locate an abandoned mine. She plays a great character where her main goal is to find the mine and survive when it is found.

She’s accompanied by Darren (Adan Canto: X-Men: Days Of Future Past 2014), Jamie (Zach Avery: Fury 2014), and Terry (Jonathan Sadowski: Friday the 13th 2009 – read our retro review here) as she ventures into the town, and I have to say it was a relief to see it a ghost town of people living quietly vs the movie trying to be something else and surprise us with a twist in the end.

The Devil Below is a monster movie from start to finish, from the opening sequence to where the friends are going against the town’s judgment and exploring the unknown to where we meet the townspeople who are wanting to stop the exploration. Shelby (Jesse La Tourette: Boy Erased 2018) and Schuttmann (Will Patton: Halloween 2018 – read our review here) play great townsfolk who may seem off-putting, but as Schuttmann says in the movie, “We’re trying to protect you.”

We see brief glimpses of the monsters along with how they use their bodies as weapons against their prey with poison claws that can stun and make their victim go into a state of dazed confusion. This comes into play with the finale where we see the underground mine, and the creatures look amazing and terrifying along with their queen. Bradley does a great job giving us what we want but at the same time not showing it in full focus, which adds even more intensity and fear to the movie. I wish we could see more of the monsters or even have them kill more, but I feel it would’ve taken away of the plot about a paranoia mind trip of what’s going to happen next versus a full-blown monster movie that could’ve turned into a b-movie quickly. The Devil Below is available to rent or own on Amazon.

About Jai Alexis

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