Devil's Mile (2014)



There are a lot of different types of of horror films out there in the world. There are the typical stalk and slash film, the paranormal ghost "haunting" type of film. Some horror films are road films, others are typical "cabin in the woods" films. All of these films can exist in a vacuum as separate entities. But sometimes they can be combined and very successfully. In fact it's pretty well established that blending these sub-genres can and has been very successful. But blending them all? That's what Devil's Mile tries to do. But does it do it well? Lets take a look...

Devil's Mile starts as a road film. Three bad asses speed down a lonely stretch of highway. In the trunk?
Their cargo - two kidnapped Japanese girls. Their mission? Deliver the girls to their mysterious boss, Mr. Arcadi. So far so good. They stop at the typical roadside diner/gas station/last stop 'til nowhere and things get a little rough. Toby (David Hayter) freaks out and kills the old timer behind the counter. They ignore the old guys warning and head down the foreboding road ahead.  That's when, as they say...things start to get really fucked up.

Our fun little "road film" sort of peters out right about here. Instead we are ushered into a Lovecraftian alternate universe haunted by a weird sky monster, where time repeats itself over and over again along a deserted stretch of highway. And oh yeah, there is a J-Horror ghost/dead girl attacking everyone. So there's a lot going on - action film/ghost story/J-Horror/timey wimey weirdness. So what is Devil's Mile? Well unfortunately, the fil is more boring than anything else.

 There's an old phrase "jack of all trades, master of none." This is the best way to describe Devil's Mile. After an pretty good ten minutes or so to kick off the film (the road film part), it devolves into nothing. Literally nothing. Sure there is something on the screen. But it's just filler for the filler at times. There's an attempt at a twist (the timey-wimey) part, but by that point there's nothing left to look forward to but the credits.

Writer/Director Joseph O'Brien certainly has balls. A timid man would never have the audacity to try and cram so much into a film. It's just unfortunate that he does so little with the story. That being said, the film looks great. You never quite know what you are going to get from an independent feature, especially one that at point, is rather effects laden. This one definitely delivers in the cool looking visuals department.

The cast is adequate. Hayter, who wrote X-Men and Watchmen, amongst other things is decent as the road trips main baddie. It's a shame that he sort of disappears for 75% of the film. Especially since a lot of folks will check out the film because of his involvement. Hayter is fine, but the movie is carried, and extremely well by Casey Hudecki, who plays Jacinta, the young bad ass who finally figures everything out.

Devil's Mile is a film of nothing if not of ambition. It's a shame that all the pieces don't come together as everyone had intended. Check it out if you have a curiosity regarding David Hayter's acting ability, or to see a really strong performance by relative newcomer Casey Hudecki. Just make sure you have it planned out so your caffeine kicks in 20 minutes or so into the film. 

** stars out of *****

As always, thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich"

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