Movie Chat: Devil’s Due

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I have not seen this movie. Reading the review, it reminds me a lot of Rosemary’s Baby. Review courtesy of Tony-Paul de Vissage, who shares information about his new book, Absinthe Eternal.

Review of  Devil’s Due

I have to disagree with most of the reviews on this film. This is a very good movie of its type for suspense and sheer eeriness. The blurb on the DVD sleeve, however, is completely misleading and sounds more like a Blair Witch Project movie than the actual story.

When the film begins, the crime has already been committed and the culprit arrested. The video tape is evidence of his guilt.

Filmed by Zach, the young husband, beginning the night before his wedding to Samantha, the video tape was to be a “Family Album” of their life. The only thing odd about Samantha thus far is that she’s an orphan, delivering by C-section after her mother was killed in an auto accident. Now, she’s part of Zach’s family. The tape shows their honeymoon in Santo Domingo, their getting lost and being taken to a weird nightclub by a stranger they meet, then waking up the next morning not remembering the night before. Samantha becomes pregnant in spite of the Pill. So far it looks like simply a young couple’s recorded life but slowly odd things happen which, combined, add up to terror. Samantha, a vegetarian, begins to crave raw meat, actually eating it out of the case at the grocery and killing the deer on their property. She becomes destructively violent when she’s touched or anyone enters the nursery. Someone begins watching their house and Zach sees the taxi driver from Santo Domingo in their church. The priest has a stroke and afterward when shown drawings of symbols Zach saw on the island, becomes violent. Sam’s doctor disappears and is replaced by another.

All this is recorded on the tapes.

There’s a definite resemblance to Rosemary’s Baby without the explanation of why all this is happening and that makes it even more frightening because there seems to be no reason. Zach certainly doesn’t profit from what’s happening. In fact, he’s one of the victims.

I found the hand-held camera device a little distracting at first but as the story progressed, its unwieldiness added to the chaos going on in Zach’s mind. Those wanting a reason and a purpose behind what happens won’t like this tale very much but that’s the way some of the most frightening events sometimes occur…for no apparent reason as far as the victims can determine. The sheer fright and frantic concern Zach has for his wife and unborn child carry the story and I think that was what was intended.

This is a story of the victim, not the perpetrator, and for me, it works, making me rate it 4 stars on a 5-star scale.

 

Blurb for Absinthe Eternal (Book 3 of the Absinthe trilogy):

David Varine, star of Ghost Search International, a highly-rated supernaturally-themed reality show, is on assignment. At the request of the New Orléans Historical Society, he’s come to the Big Easy to prove the stately old mansion called Nouvel Espoir is haunted.
It’s said the spirit of Absinthe, accursed son of the original owner, haunts the mansion with his lover, but David’s a skeptic. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, curses, and any of that ‘supernatural hogwash.’ He’s only in the ghost-hunting business for the money.
Once inside Nouvel Espoir, however, David’s skepticism rapidly disappears. There are too many odd things happening, things he can’t ignore. When his cameraman arrives, the two will be forced to face whatever walks the mansion by night.
Absinthe wants something from them…but what…?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

“Is that la marquise?” Red nodded at the portrait over the mantle.

I looked from the fire screen’s gold-fanned filigree to the painting. It showed a woman sitting in that very chair. One hand rested on the arm, the other lay in her lap. Unless the artist exaggerated in his rendition, she was beautiful.

“Her name was Célestine.” I’d found that out from Étienne’s journal. “She was anything but heavenly, it appears.”

“Got to get a picture of that.” Red hoisted the camcorder.

I automatically stepped out of the way as he began a slow pan past the bookcases to the picture.

A sudden gleam of light touched the portrait’s face.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” Red was still concentrating on the image on the LCD screen.

“I think the lights made a glare on the picture.”

“Did it? I didn’t notice.” He hit the rewind button, replaying what he’d just shot. Sure enough, as the portrait came into the shot, there was a bright blur across the face, obscuring its features. “You’re right. I’ll shoot it again.”

He aimed the camcorder at the picture, zooming in on the face.

“There. No glare this time.”

I glanced at my watch. “It’s getting close to quitting time. I’d like to go back over everything you shot today. Why don’t I get my laptop? We’ll upload everything into it, and see how it all looks.”

“Sounds like a winner.”

I wish we hadn’t done that.

It didn’t take long to upload the images from both camcorder and phone. Placing the laptop on the pantry table, I opened the App and typed in the command and we waited while images and film clips were transferred.

The images of the mausoleum were great…atmospheric…eerie enough. They looked like they should’ve been on the covers of gothic horror novels or as movie posters for some Frankenstein or Dracula film. Red’s definitely a good photographer.

“Hey, here comes the videos.” His attention was glued to the screen.

“I’ll fast forward through the one with the glare,” I said. “You should’ve deleted it.”

Sliding my finger over the touch mouse pad, I click ‘FF’ only to turn it into a double click, as Red ordered, “No, don’t. Let it play through. I want to see if I can tell what caused the glare. I didn’t think the lights were bright enough.”

“Okay.”

We let the clip play. There was the bookcase, the camera slowly moving past it, showing the escritoire, then the mantle. As soon as the portrait came fully into the shot, the camera centered on it…the marquise sat there, staring into space, that enigmatic little smile hovering…

“Hey…” I said. “Where’s the glare?”

It wasn’t there.

“Search me,” Red answered. “Freeze the shot. I…”

I clicked the command, and…

…the head of the figure on the screen turned, her eyes seemed to bore into mine…into ours…that little smile widened into a malicious grimace of triumph.

“I hated him with all my soul. He made my life miserable. Why would I want a child reminding me of him?” Her voice was low and soft. Even speaking in French, the viciousness it in was palpable. “Though it damned me forever, I’d do it again, to cause him grief.”

Then, she raised her head, glancing into the distance again.

“Did you see that?” My voice shook. I looked at Red. His face was white.

“Run it back,” he ordered. “Run it back.”

I did, clicking ‘Play.’ The clip ran again, panning the bookcase, escritoire, the portrait…

Nothing happened.

Nothing. Whatever we’d seen was no longer there.

“We didn’t imagine it,” I declared. I looked at Red. “We both saw it.”

“Unless we’ve experienced a mutual hallucination.” Something in his voice sounded suspiciously like fear.

“That portrait spoke,” I said, stubbornly. “The glare…that was when it happened…”

“…and now, having delivered her message…” he finished. “It’s gone forever and we’ve no proof…”

“We did see it,” I persisted. “Both of us.”

“What does that matter if we can’t prove it?” Red picked up the camcorder, shaking it. “For ten minutes, we had it…incontrovertible proof…”

 

 

Buy Link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Absinthe-Eternal-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B079TF2L3W/

Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/horror/absinthe-eternal-8702018-02-11-21-39-34-detail?Itemid=0

 

About the Author:

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead.

 

 

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter:  @tpvissage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage?fref=ts

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/tony-paul-de-vissage