HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bedeviled Phone Freaks
Year: 2018
Director: Abel Vang, Burlee Vang
Stars: Saxon Sharbino, Mitchell Edwards, Victory Van Tuyl, Brandon Soo Hoo, Carson Boatman, Matty Finochio, Jordan Essoe, Robyn Cohen, Kate Orsini, Alexis G. Zall, Bonnie Morgan, Billy Mayo, Michael Shen, Brendan O'Connell, Aaron Hendry, Brett Wagner, Camden Toy
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Teenage Nikki (Alexis G. Zall) was having trouble sleeping one night; her mother came in to check on her, but she wasn't very responsive, having been on the internet and her phone, but this will be her downfall. As the darkness creeps into the house, she starts wandering around inside until she realises she is being stalked by a mysterious, laughing figure (Jordan Essoe) which leaps out at her and apparently scares her to death. Literally: at the funeral shortly after, her friends gather to reflect on what could possibly have gone wrong and have no idea. However, a clue may arrive when Nikki sends them an app on their phones from beyond the grave...

Except it might not have been from Nikki at all, it might be from... The Devil! How to make a movie relevant to millennials would be the issue the Vang Brothers were tackling with Bedeviled (the misspelling was part of the title to emphasise the Satanic bit), and they hit a brainwave: twenty-first century kids are never off their phones, are they? So what better to put the wind up them than a haunted phone? Brilliant! Or, maybe not so brilliant, maybe pandering and obvious, more appropriate to a comedy sketch show than a feature length chiller - well, the lead villain did like to laugh his head off at every opportunity, after all.

This would have been a fair horror for kids, to get them interested in the genre at an early age, were it not for the strong language the Vangs littered at intermittent points throughout the dialogue. That kind of left the target between two stools, too juvenile in its bloodless setpieces for the older generations, and not something parents or guardians would approve of for the younger, if it meant they picked up some bad habits as far as their speech went. Certainly the cast playing teens were pretty young, late teenage or just after, so the commonly heard complaint that the performers were plainly overage in a horror did not apply to the same extent here.

What did apply was that the Vangs had clearly been hanging out online and picking up scary memes to turn into their plot, therefore what you had was a mixture of A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Lawnmower Man (together at last!) as once the devilish app had been downloaded and was getting up to all sorts of super-controlling activities, its avatar, a bowtie-wearing silhouette, would end up visiting nightmares upon the users. This played out as what they were most scared of, which for the lead girl Alice (Saxon Sharbino) was her grandmother, but more often than not were mute actors throwing would-be alarming shapes as clowns, that most hackneyed of stand-ins for online frights, and not exactly terrifying here either, especially when they didn't even show us what happened to the afflicted when caught.

There was a nod to genre savvy when the sole black character, Cody (Mitchell Edwards), admits his biggest fear is white people, which could have been fertile ground for something anticipating the next year's groundbreaker Get Out (it was made in 2016), but simply amounted to Cody being freaked out by a ghoulish cop. He is the technologically invested one, so was on hand to explain how a supernatural app could afflict your phone, though that was difficult to swallow, almost as if the script was making all the phone tech up - well, I never. There were also a couple of sex scenes so coy that they could only bring themselves to put them on the soundtrack, not the visuals, another instance of Bedeviled being curiously reticent to go for the jugular yet including material the younglings who would have got the most out of would not be ready to watch. Had they clearly worked out who they were aiming at, they might have concocted a movie far less broken-backed. Music by David Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1326 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: