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The Devil’s Well (2017) – Movie Review

The Devil's Well (2017) - Movie Review

Okay, first things first – I should point out that this film was first released about a year ago under the title of The Unexplained Disappearance of Karla Marks

So sorry if you got your hopes up about finding a new Found Footage film – cos’ it ain’t one!

Anyway, I made the mistake of thinking this was a new release when I was recommended it, but at least I got two separate viewings of it, months apart, to make a more balanced judgement.

The Plot

Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband. A year after her disappearance, a group of paranormal investigators attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance.

Full Marks For Effort, But…

…This wasn’t exactly a memorable Found Footage movie!

It does sound a little harsh but the movie failed to move me in the right directions and largely underwhelms, BUT it is a lot better than some of the shit I’ve sat through recently!

Doesn’t exactly paint the genre in a positive shade, does it?

All is not lost though – the director, Kurtis Spieler, has put a lot of effort into the ‘half and half’ mockumentary/Found Footage setup for this film, so it’s definitely watchable.

I just didn’t find it scary, or compelling, at all…

Which is kinda the main idea behind a horror film…

Conclusion

The first part of Devil’s Well is shot in the mockumentary format and the climax/conclusion/ending switches over to Found Footage format – it does this part of the project pretty well (no pun intended!).

If I had to get a bit picky with the mockumentary segment – I’d say that maybe it runs a bit dry after about 20 minutes or so.

The first ten minutes work fine but then we slide into relatives describing Karla’s personality or detailing her relationship with her husband. It starts to grind a little bit leaving the watcher questioning the decision behind it’s inclusion in the movie…

Maybe to kill off a few more minutes of running time?

The cast of unknown names do a pretty good job throughout this mockumentary portion, and probably convince the viewer to keep on watching through to the end…

But they can’t 100% keep the boredom at bay.

The final ‘half’ of the film, the Found Footage section, is set a year after the original ‘incident’.

Now, this final section is made up of shots of a room…with a hole in it…and a looped corridor system that the filmmakers have tried their best to stretch out!

There’s only so much tension you can build up with this small a location…and there’s only so much footage you can attribute to it.

This means that we have to spend the middle portion of the movie watching a paranormal team set up their equipment and go through pointless banter…

The type of things we expect at the START of a Found Footage movie.

By the time we get to the juicy bits the film was starting to feel a little drawn out – you could probably of cut 15 – 20 minutes off the run time without effecting the project as a whole.

BUT

As I touched on above – this was actually an above average micro-budget Found Footage movie. Over the last 12 months or so I’ve sat through some complete shit – some of it so bad that I didn’t even include it on this site!

The Devil’s Well is head and shoulders above this tripe – because the filmmakers have tried their best to stick to a winning horror formula.

Keep that in mind when you give it a whirl…

Chris

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