An FBI agent and a local deputy investigate a family's disappearance,
only to find themselves in the crosshairs of dark, otherworldly visitors.
Devil's Gate (2017)
Directed by Clay Staub
Written by Peter Aperlo and Clay Staub
Starring Amanda Schull, Shawn Ashmore,
Milo Ventimiglia, Bridget Regan, Jonathan Frakes
Devil's Gate has one of the most genius concepts I've ever encountered in a horror movie, and it is wasted on filmmakers who have no clue what they're doing. This film wastes the concept and putters around for an hour and a half, unsure of how scary it wants to be, how gory it wants to be, or how confusing it wants to be. The characters are pretty average, apart from Milo Ventimiglia's decent performance as Jackson Pritchard. Overall, this had the potential and opportunity to be so much better than it turned out to be.
We are led to believe, in the first half of the film, that this is a serial killer movie. That quickly turns into a twist that this is a demonic possession movie. But then, the true identity of this film is revealed when the beings that our characters think are demons are actually...aliens! Gotta say, I didn't see it coming and I was very impressed. Such a neat idea for aliens to trick religious zealots into thinking they're fallen angels. Of course, the brilliance ended there, because the film runs out of steam really quick. There's some gobbledygook about the aliens trying to replace humanity, and the boy they've taken is their most well-designed test subject, but none of it sticks.
Devil's Gate wastes a number of possible big moments, like the FBI agent's big case that messed her up. We never get closure on that. The farmer guy being an alien clone seemed like a big one too, but that goes away as well. In the right hands, this could've been one of the smartest, most original horror films in years. But thanks to inexperienced filmmakers, it'll die in obscurity and it will deserve it.