Written by J. Weagle
It’s nice to see that the whole devil possession genre has gotten a shot in the arm as of late, and it turns out The Devil’s Candy is part of that. Though the trailers would have you believe that this is some sort of heavy metal love letter to Satan himself simply summoning up The Devil’s Candy that way would be a disservice to the true nature of what this film achieves. It’s a short, gritty yet hauntingly beautiful film from director Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones) that tells a story of passion, art and the beast himself, and may be one of the finest examples of what satanic possession actually means in our real everyday life.
The film follows a struggling painter Jesse who with his wife and teenage daughter move into a new house that was once the scene of a murder. They get a visit from a stranger in a red track suit who use to live in the house and directly after that a bunch of weird shit starts happening. Jesse begins painting horrific scenes without even remembering that he did them, and more importantly the bond between him and his daughter deteriorates, and he’s not sure why. The Devil’s Candy is in many ways a very simplistic story, and that’s why I love it so much, yet at the same time there’s more going on bubbling below the surface.
The acting all around is top notch. It’s a rather small cast lead by Ethan Embry who looks as though he just walked of the set of a Rob Zombie movie. He gives his role real heart, in fact the entire family have fantastic chemistry together and it’s hard not to root for them to overcome both the figurative and legitimate demons they face. It really is this bond between the three leading cast members that make this film stand out in a genre that is over run by stories about the devil.
Though on the surface the plot may sound pretty familiar, I can without a doubt guarantee you have not seen a movie like The Devil’s Candy. The actual devil possession is handled in such a way that it feels about as true to real life as a story about the devil possibly could. Not unlike another devil possession movie released this year The Blackcoat’s Daughter, this film doesn’t over do it with violence and effects that could’ve potentially lead it down a path that would come off as cheesy or predictable, and instead opts for a more grounded tone. Add to all this that the aesthetic is so fresh and unique that it really gives it a feel all to its own. It’s not only a horror film, but a love letter to heavy metal music with plenty of nods and tips of its hat to both metal of old and new.
The Devil’s Candy is one of the most fascinating horror films I’ve seen all year. It’s just about everything I look for in a modern genre film, something that hits the mark of being both a drive in feature as well as offering something for those who want to search a little deeper. It can be enjoyed as both a heavy metal satanic haunted house film as well as analyzed and probe to find its true meaning and message for those brave enough to look for it. It’s a possession movie that focuses on the bond between family more so than the forces that attempt to rip them apart. It’s a horror film with heart, that offers truly likable characters, a unique spin and a vibe that will linger with you long after it’s over.