Joseph O’Brien’s “Devil’s Mile” is a blend of paranormal horror and contemporary crime-noir that takes a detour deep into Hell. The film stars David Hayter, Maria del Mar, Casey Hudecki, Amanda Joy Lim, Shara Kim, Samantha Wan and Frank Moore. “Devil’s Mile” takes its cue from Japanese entity thrillers, but twists it with some classic Lovecraftian styled terror to create a steady incline into a super-charged nightmare.
The story has three criminals and two kidnapped victims stuck on a stretch of road that makes “The Lost Highway” seem like Main street USA. The plot is pretty heady with tons of drama and psychological tension. Joseph O’Brien is masterful in pacing out the action with flashbacks, creepy atmospheric shadowing and shady back-stories that are revealed in pieces. The cast are committed to the characters and their ability to make you connect with the story is pretty stellar-at least once the sh*t hits the fan.
True in the beginning of watching “Devil’s Mile” I was sure I was gonna hate the film. The characters looked stereotypical with forced banter that comes off cliché. That all changes once they hit the Devil’s mile stretch of highway. The drama goes up and the talent really shines. The writing is smart, fastidious ebbs and flows of chilling Paranormality, deep human conflict, and intense action thrills. So yeah-by the time the characters hit that damned line in the road I was captivated.
The special effects are a concentrated and respectable blend of standard CGI paranormal visuals and practical effects. The fact that the story sets a tone similar to the awesome Japanese paranormal horror films makes this palatable. The scares are definite, undeniable moments that get you. The atmosphere is a creepy mix of giallo styled dark and light balance with soft glows of color leaking into the frames. The creature effects is impactful, with some truly disturbing aesthetics begging for your nightmares. Who cares about that girl in the well, this b*tch on the highway is the real horror.
“Devil’s Mile” is a definite must watch movie that shows just how perfect O’Brien’s choice to make this his directorial debut was, not only for him but all us horror fans. If it wasn't for the beginning feeling stereotypical, and slow, then this film would have been a masterpiece of modern horror. Still this is one d*mn good movie. The ending is expected but not in the way that you really expect to see. Can’t really detail anything because it would only spoil the experience.