Reviews: The Diabolical

Halloween is next month and the horror screeners are rolling in. Check out this review of The Diabolical starring Ali Larter. 

"Damn! This hoody is swwweeeet!"
Alistair Legrand’s The Diabolical is, at its most extreme, Resident Evil-esque nightmare with Sixth Sense-type elemental layers, but describing it as such would almost be like calling it a wolf in sheep's clothing. It conspires its own suspense in a slow albeit building plot style that is admirably parallel to any Game of Thrones episode – where it builds without any instant gratification, only to explode moments before it ends. Single mother Madison (played by Ali Larter, Heroes) is struggling to keep it together in front of her kids while saving face to the rest of the world in the wake of her late husband’s death.

Diabolical wastes no time in efforts to scare the bejeezus out of the viewers, almost at an insulting snail’s pace that quickly becomes a paranormal waking dream. Madison’s family (two kids, Chloe Perrin, Max Rose) are haunted almost incessantly by a paranormal entity that comes from within the house. The film does a mediocre job of building the primary story line by tossing in important details one right after the other and later following with a sort of combined conclusion, answering some questions along the way. It spears the idea of combining inherently cheesy '90s slasher films along with an augmenting metaphysical trope to create a massively well-rounded attempt at a modern horror movie.

Nearly all of the performances were perfect additions to the already thriving film, with special exceptions of the two children, Perrin and Rose, both who played primitive roles in bringing this story to life. Children are sometimes used as minor, irrelevant roles in many horror movies. Legrand seems have no trouble finding his niche and gives the viewers what a true horror movie should be - fervent suspense and minimal downtime to question the suspense.

"Yeah, dude I know.
The first season of Heroes was
the best."
There isn't much contrast between adverse curiosity and flatly laid-out storyline, but Diabolical gets to work fast creating a metaphorical Ferris wheel of twists and turns - making quick efforts to reach the viewer on a middle school-age drama level. Unfortunately though, it seems The Diabolical just doesn’t have enough time to delve into all of the necessary plot junctions that it deserves, and that could be the one and only glaring complaint about the film. The sporadic details are given with minimal backstory or explanation on why they are of such utter importance, and with those tiny details could make all the difference in making this film go from an impressively stellar 8 out of 10 to a hefty 9.

The Diabolical hits theaters, VOD and iTunes on October 16th.

-Sarah Shafer

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