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The Devil’s Toybox (2017) – Movie Review

The Devil's Toybox (2017) - Movie Review

Back in November 2015, I was contacted by a director named Allen Kellogg about his Found Footage release 7 Nights of Darkness. Not expecting much, I gave it a go…and quite enjoyed it overall.

Fast forward to about a fortnight ago, and I stumbled across the sequel to his original picture – The Devil’s Toybox (or Out of the Shadows – depending on where you are watching the film!).

I had no idea this movie was coming out and Mr. Kellogg did not contact me about it this time (tut tut!), so I had no real idea what to expect.

Still, I was quite stoked I had found it…

The Plot

Cynthia O’Neil enters a haunted asylum known as the Madison Seminary in search of her father who went missing in the asylum while shooting a reality television show (her father was one of the characters/contestants from the original film…in case you hadn’t guessed!).

Multiple Camera Feeds

I often find that indie-level Found Footage films opt to try out as many different camera sources (or camera feeds) as possible – this doesn’t always work, in fact this can make a film quite messy and a chore to follow.

Kellogg seems to have conquered the problems multiple camera feeds can bring to a movie – and that’s quite a feat really, when you think about the amount of films that have not.

The good editing allows the film to move seamlessly to and from groups of characters, but at the same time disorientating the audience in an intelligent way.

This impressive ‘flow’ of the movie is down to one thing – good writing.

Kellogg has obviously sat down and put a lot of effort into the direction of the movie, and has not just thrown a bag of scenes together in hope.

The movie as a whole works because of this.

Conclusion

The ONLY thing I could really find wrong with this film was the level of acting at times – some of the characters were really quite excellent…whilst others seemed to be acting inside a brown paper bag!

But this kind of thing happens in 99% of indie Found Footage offerings – and I can certainly live with it if the movie’s plot and pace work well together (which they did in this case).

The story line works well for the most part but I couldn’t help but feel that Cynthia’s character was left a little bit out in the cold towards the climax of the movie, and I don’t know whether this was done on purpose or not?

The film starts out honing in on her quest to find her father but that main plot line takes a back seat. There are a lot of characters in this film – maybe their screen time ate into Cynthia’s main plot idea?

Anyway, that’s all pretty negative – and this was certainly not a negative experience.

As I touched on above, the editing along with the multiple camera setups was really well done. On top of this – I felt as though Kellogg had put together enough new ideas to make this sequel worthwhile.

Good pace, some good actors/some not so good, intelligent enough directing and well thought out cinematography.

The paranormal Found Footage niche is certainly overcrowded, but Kellogg has twice proven that he can hold his own with this type of picture.

Worth watching.

Chris

4 Comments

  1. I watched this last night and you could make a drinking game out of this, every time there is a horror film cliché take a shot of whisky and I bet no one could make it to the end of the film without being extremely drunk lol. Other than that I thought it was a lot better than some of the horror Found Footage out there and I would give it 6 out of 10. Here is a better film try and find a movie called Bad Ben, Its just as good as Leaving D.C. and its made the same way, Its about a guy buying a house from a police auction and everything the former owners left everything behind and some strange stuff happens (I dont want to give you too many details because the less you know the better.) but wow the guy in the film annoyed me abit lol

    • Haha I like that drinking game – I’m gonna have to try that myself one day! I watched Bad Ben about a month back but I haven’t had time to get it up on the site yet – it is a very good film (although I was a little confused by the ending…)

  2. I quite enjoyed the movie, but I was just shocked by the ending of it. By shocked i mean that I do not understand what happened in the last 15 minutes?!?! Usually you get that with Found Footage Movies, but what was the baby, Brooke and Roger leaving the hospital at the end all about?!

    • Yeah I can remember being slightly mixed up myself at the movie’s climax, can’t remember off hand what happened though (I watched it a few months back now!)

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