It might be the most natural thing in the world, but there’s also something pretty terrifying about pregnancy.
The idea of a creature growing inside a person’s body, sapping their resources and affecting their emotions, is the stuff of pure horror, so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of movies where babies are portrayed as evil little monsters. Devil’s Due is the first to combine that story with found footage, but that’s the only scrap of originality it’s got.
Sam (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) are enjoying their honeymoon when they meet a friendly taxi driver who wants to show them the sights. The party he takes them to lives up to his hype, but their all-seeing video camera captures a glimpse of something more sinister behind the scenes.
Back home, Sam discovers she’s pregnant – despite being on the Pill – and the couple begin to rearrange their lives in preparation for the new arrival. But Sam’s isn’t a normal pregnancy, and Zach isn’t the only one filming her…
The challenge for any found footage horror movie is finding a reason for characters to keep filming, even when things get scary. Devil’s Due can’t, so it cheats by cutting away – to other people’s video cameras, police cameras, even CCTV cameras. But in doing so, it undermines its conceit.
The intimacy between the audience and characters is broken; Sam and Zach are a likeable couple with a believable relationship and great chemistry, but the more the tricksy camerawork distances us from them, the more generic the film seems.
Although the storyline runs along tracks laid by Rosemary’s Baby, the final act is pure Paranormal Activity. The rumbling demonic noises, the ominous night-vision scenes, the strategically placed house-cams: we’ve seen it all before.
Although found footage is a style of filmmaking that, in theory, allows for many different kinds of stories, it’s become a depressingly tired genre with far too many of its own clichés, and Devil’s Due regurgitates them all. It’s just boring.