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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Review: The Devil Below

Director: Bradley Parker

Screenplay: Eric Schebarth and Stefan Jaworski

Year: 2021

A group of adventurers who specialize in exploring remote and forgotten places heads to a remote mountain town. This town was suddenly abandoned decades ago and with no other explanation than a fire in a coal mine. Intending to discover the true reason why the town was abandoned, the group enters the place without suspecting the danger of what lives there.

A few days ago, I reviewed "The Superdeep", based on what was the deepest hole made by humans that gave way to the myth that it reached hell. This time we move to the United States, where a group of researchers will investigate a mining town where it is speculated that there is an equivalent to the Russian hole. Four colleagues with cliche personalities and a tough Lara Croft-style guide complete the group of protagonists who complement each other much better than expected.


Having watched "The Superdeep" before "The Devil Below" undoubtedly affected my enjoyment of the latter. This new Netflix horror movie is a much more modest proposal than the Russian movie, and where the latter shines is where “The Devil Below” shows its budget constraints. Specifically, "The Superdeep" shines in its special effects and body horror, while "The Devil Below" has to use shadows and other camera tricks to disguise its limitations while doing its best to make them effective.

In talking about its limitations, I don't want it to sound like this second feature by director Bradley Parker ("Chernobyl Diaries") is a bad movie because it isn't. The director takes movie references like "The Descent" to develop a sense of claustrophobia inside the caves, and it works very well. Apart from this, the plot is well-paced and keeps the viewer interested. The plot has some holes and logic problems, but they can be ignored, and the rest can be enjoyed.

"The Devil Below" is based on the myth of the deepest hole dug by humans that reached hell and offers a tense and fun version of the tale. However, we already saw this a few days ago in another movie that does it much better, affecting its enjoyment. Its tight budget does not allow it to exploit its full potential, but still, the director does a great job in the section of suspense, tension, and the sense of claustrophobia that ends in a decent creature movie.

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