Bedeviled Review

Bedeviled is a 2016 horror film directed by Abel Vanh and Burlee Vanh, starring Saxon Sharbino, Mitchell Edwards, and Brandon Doo Hoo. After a friend’s untimely death, five teenagers receive invites to download a new app called Mr. Bedevil that turns their nightmares into reality.


Positives:

  • Great use if special effects
  • Some pretty good jumpscares
  • Sound music
  • Interesting premise
  • Good performances

Negatives:

  • Main lead is poor
  • Poorly executed deaths
  • Predictable at times
  • Cheap jumpscares

Plot: Five friends are terrorized by a supernatural entity after downloading a mysterious app. The story does begin in true horror fashion. Someone in a big dark house being offed by a supernatural entity though as the movie progresses it quickly losses steam. The climax is pretty anti-climactic and the film does leave off on a predictable ending. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The characters are alright though not really memorable, the typical teens in a slasher. Alice is the probably the  weakest character. She’s not interesting or likable in the slightest. Just the blonde troupe everyone should root for.  Was way more interested in the other characters who manage to be more well balanced. Aside from Alice there’s Nikki’s boyfriend, Cody, along with Alice’s boyfriend, Gavin, and friends, Haley and Dan. Mr. Bedevil seems like an interesting blend of Pennywise meets Slender Man. (3 out of 5)

Cast: The performances are decent and give the characters enough depth to make them interesting but not much more than that. The cast includes Starring Saxon Sharbino, Victory Van Tuyl, Brandon Soo Hoo, Carson Boatman, Mitchell Edwards Jordan Essoe, Bonnie Morgan, and Alexis G Zall. (3 out of 5)

Visuals: Pretty dark the way the movie is shot. Even when the lights are on in the house, school, on the bus; it’s exceptionally dark. There are some pretty sweet long takes that are handled well. The Mr. Bedevil designs looks frightening and the slow reveal of its character is actually done really well. Sucks tha the film. Never shows what happens to the victims nor does it show what they look like. The makeup designs of the “hallucinations” deserve a bit of praise. (4 out of 5)

Score: The music is pretty darn intense at times and keeps the atmosphere suspenseful. Good job by David C. Williams (3 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is decent however whatever potential this movie had is quickly wasted on its heavy use of cliches. The Vang Brothers show some good direction. The film has its share of cheesy jumpscares but it has a lot of highly effective ones. Many scenes of Mr. Bedevil’s reveal are done nicely. Alice seeing it for the first time in the window with the use of her phone is one of the best scenes. Characters sit and wander around in the dark for no reason. The whole concept of a killer app is actually pretty cool and the execution is done really well. It’s like watching Pennywise or Freddy Krueger utilizing technology. There is this weird focus on how teens are do dependent on their technology. Who the hell downloads an app they know nothing about. The kills really aren’t memorable and in fact, we don’t even get to see them nor the after effects. (2 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Bedeviled is a decent horror film but it could’ve been so much more. What hurts the film is its lack of character depth, cheesy jumpscares, reliance on troupes, and spotty script. However, the film does have decent performances, decent characters, an interesting premise, decent music, some good shots, and a good use of the special effects. Bedeviled gets 3 out of 5.

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