Richard Granoble directed, highly stylized horror “Awaken The Devil” is surreal nightmare that blends classic Lovecraftian terror with graphic novel attitude. The film stars Ryan Lieske, Jason Roth, Matt Simpson Siegel, John Tuttle and Leah Vukavich. It is a somber story of evil being born into the shadows and unwashed of man’s world. Two homeless brothers seek refuge and rest in an abandoned building that serves as a gateway to Hell. Used by a satanic cult to bring the devil into the world of flesh, the building is a haven of horror.
The story was written by O.H. Krill and is a stark, macabre piece that would make H.P. proud. There is very little dialog leading the story from A to B, but the visual spectacle that unfolds creatively does all the story telling in a very awesome blend of live-ation, and graphic artistry. The acting is decent enough considering the weight of the film relies on mostly facial expressions, situational moments of drama, and idle, aimless chatter framed around a setting fit for Hell.
The special effects and graphic artistry are superb. I love this blended style of story telling in both horror and sci-fi. It is creative, entertaining, and holds endless possibilities for story telling. In films like “Awaken The Devil” the CGI is easier to enjoy if it is almost all of the film such as seen here. The cinematography and direction stay controlled and motionless, focused on framed-scenes that really pull you into the film. The soundtrack, effects and instrumental tones create a heartfelt, emotional atmosphere that is a blend of depressing and creepy.
Overall the graphic art backdrops and CGI blend that make “Awaken The Devil” look like a graphic novel come to life takes precedence over the actual story content. Most of what happens in the film could have been wrapped up in a twenty minute short film and been just as effective. Having a simple situation stretched out into a feature length scenario causes the energy and story effectiveness to weaken and become dull midway through. There isn’t enough action or theatrics picking up some much needed energy. It becomes a bit boring after 50-or so- minutes. Still you can’t ignore the beauty and talent of “Awaken The Devil”, in both style and artistry.