Along Came the Devil (2018)

alongcamethedevil

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A young woman gets the most horrifying experience of her life in this demonic film from director Jason DeVan.

When her mother Sarah has disappeared, young Ashley is forced along with her sister Jordan to live with their abusive father. However, ten years later, Jordan and left for college and Ashley has moved in with her estranged aunt Tanya. Tanya goes to church and while she attempts to convince Ashley to join her, Ashley just wants to live a normal life and reunites herself with childhood friends Hannah and Shane, the latter of whom she develops a relationship.

However, something has been disturbing Ashley. She has been seeing visions, thinking it is her mother Sarah. When Hannah and Ashley decide to perform a séance to see if it is Sarah who has been contacting her daughter, Ashley slowly undergoes a transformation. She becomes more defiant and on top of that, violent. Tanya brings up the possibility of her niece becoming possessed by the Devil, and it will be up to veteran Father Michael and his new protégé, Pastor John, to attempt to exorcise Ashley and save her before it’s too late.

Demonic possession has been a subgenre in the horror film genre since the one film that remains one of the greatest horror films period, The Exorcist. While some films, for instance The Last Exorcism, offers something unique to the possession film, others tend to be nothing more than knock-offs of the 70’s classic. However, for this particular film, director Jason DeVan and his wife Heather, who co-wrote the script, brings the tropes of the genre but adds something unique when it comes to the role of our central character Ashley.

The driving force of the film goes to Sydney Sweeney in the role of Ashley. From the character’s introduction, you know this is young girl who has some serious problems. She finds herself under constant pressure and as a child, abuse from her father after her mother’s mysterious disappearance. Sweeney brings a natural performance to the role of a woman who is attempting to return to a normal life but finds herself hearing voices that become the catalyst of her transformation into a possessed young woman with very violent tendencies.

Jessica Barth is great to watch as Aunt Tanya and it is because her chemistry with Sweeney has that natural feeling that they are actually convincing as a concerned aunt and her niece, who takes the teen angst angle up a few notches. Veteran Bruce Davison plays the priest who has the experience of demonology and exorcisms with Kyle XY himself, Matt Dallas, playing his new apprentice who at first is warned by his mentor to stay away from demonology until they need him at their more dire moment when it comes to Ashley’s full transformation, which involves some excellent make-up effects and visual effects.

So while many demon possession films seem to be one in the same, Along Came the Devil brings a good meshing of the genre’s tropes along with something unique in the central character of Ashley, with Sydney Sweeney’s performance being the driving force of the film. It is clear that this is a 21st century Exorcist, and it’s quite a good one with a very unexpected (in a good way) ending.

WFG RATING: B+

Gravitas Ventures presents a DeVan Clan Productions film. Director: Jason DeVan. Producers: Jason DeVan, Heather DeVan, and Dylan Matlock. Writers: Jason DeVan and Heather DeVan. Cinematography; Justin Duval. EditingL Evan Ahlgren.

Cast: Jessica Barth, Sydney Sweeney, Matt Dallas, Bruce Davison, Madison Lintz, Austin Filson, Kyla Deaver, Lia McHugh, Barbara Goodson (voice), Donna Biscoe, Mark Ashworth, Tristan DeVan.

The film will be coming to select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on August 10.

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