Now, I’m not normally a fan of monster/ghost/poltergeist kinda films but after an extended break from reviewing I decided to have a go at this film, and I was not disappointed.
“When a group of teenagers receive an invite to download the latest smartphone app, an intelligent personal assistant, they expect a harmless way to get directions and restaurant recommendations. But the sinister nature of the app soon reveals itself, tormenting the friends by tapping into their darkest fears. As the app exploits the intimate information made available by each of its users, the teens must learn to trust and depend on each other’s courage and the limits of their friendship. Once its evil begins to manifest supernaturally in the real world, what will happen if the app goes viral?”
Of course there’s a creepy clown
Young Nikki dies under mysterious circumstances, yet a few days later all her friends get an invitation to join this new app, called “Mr Bedeviled”. Touted as an AI assistant it soon degenerates into madness, murder and mayhem.
The premise sounds extremely cheesy, and it is, but the execution is pretty great.
It’s full of tropes and jump scares which is exactly what you want from a teen horror, right? And it honestly delivered. I don’t usually jump at jump scares and tropic formulae bore me but the camera work, the acting, and the soundtrack all work together to make this a wholly enjoyable film.
I jumped, and I gasped and enjoyed the cheese while eating cheese (lovely bit of brie…) and overall had a pretty great time watching it.
Things I liked:
For an indie film the acting was really good. Some of the actors in this are ones to watch, as I think they will be doing big things in the future. I particularly liked Cody, played by Mitchell Edwards who is also appearing shortly in “The Birth of the Purge”, according to IMDB.
I enjoyed the fact that the black kid doesn’t die first. The aforementioned Cody is a smart black kid who is a tech wizard and hacker, but is straight laced and eventually ends up saving the day.
The soundtrack was pretty generic but had all the right movements. It was nothing spectacular but I know that music is often a huge draw on a budget so I won’t take many points off for that.
And of course I really enjoyed the scary grannies and creepy teddies chasing the actors around the place. Just check out nanna below:
Granny got that yoga game
Of course there were the usual plot holes. As someone who is a tech person I rolled my eyes and some of it but they’re easily overlooked. In the same vein the “solution” to the problem was a bit contrived and unbelievable but for your run of the mill viewer it’s fine.
I kind of hoped that there would be more about the origin story of the app. We heard a little from their former tutor, Sam, but it would have been nice to delve a little deeper into that, and have maybe less of the standard jumps. I do hope that this leaves the story open enough for a sequel or prequel so that we can learn more about the app.
Another last critique: this film seemed to yoyo between a gory horror or a psychological horror, but never seemed to quite reach either end. I adore gory films, and this was described by the publicist as a “gory” film but there wasn’t nearly enough blood and viscera to be called gory in my book. Alternately, they could have gone more towards the mindfuck side of things and really gotten into your heads. In an age of mobile phones ruling our lives, and being so integral to how we communicate I’m sure there could have been a lot more done to tap into that lingering fear we all have that we’re selling our souls to Google and Apple.
Look ma, I’m a hacker
Overall I give this a solid 4/5 stars for its watchability and highly recommend that you go and watch it if this tickles your fancy.
Bedevilled is available for Digital download from 17th September on iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rakuten, Sky Store.
Gorephile. Singer. "Lady".