New Horror Releases: The Devil Lives Here (2016) - Reviewed

Ritualistic terror finds its way to our favorite distributor of all things freakish. The Devil Lives Here is a return to folklore based horror that's spine tingling, often times confusing, but still a great entry in a genre that's starving for originality. While it's not going to win any awards for being super intelligent, The Devil Lives Here wanders down a path that feels familiar but still fresh enough to keep your attention. Using some up tempo edits and scenes that are eerily familiar to some of our favorite classics, this is a well lit and moody film that strikes a sense of fright right off the bat. 

Pentagrams, scary basements, water torture, bees, ants, and luscious tears of teenage pain. Oh my! All the makings of a genre tribute are here. And fortunately for us, the delivery of the film hits just enough key notes to keep even the most hardcore horror fan happy. With their last couple movies, Artsploitation Films are kicking it back into high gear. After a couple lackluster flicks, they're stepping it up again by offering some off the beaten path films that show heart, dedication, and decent writing that harkens back to the golden age of brutal horror. 

Starting with an immediate sense of frenzied grime and an icky feeling of absolute dread, The Devil Lives Here is exactly what this label does best. The independent spirit flows through this thing as blood and urine stain the deserted landscape of this Brazilian answer to Candyman and The Serpent and the Rainbow. Using a brilliant but somewhat dusty color palette, typical horror tropes are immediately recognized but those that fear bees or insects will be instantly taken aback at the film's central tale. With a pulsating soundtrack and fevered editing, The Devil Lives Here is a solid release that isn't afraid of its lower budget. In fact, this is another movie that uses a meager budget to full effect, creating great looking practical effects and grimy environments reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, or Wolf Creek. 

I hope nothing bad happens in this scary basement!

As a hardcore horror nut, it's great to see new releases like this coming out. The Devil Lives Here features creative imagery, a good looking cast, and a story that's equally mesmerizing. As a first release from Gasparini and Vescio, I'm convinced we'll be seeing greatness from them in the future. Considering the prohibitive limitations of a short shooting schedule and bare boned funding, it would be cool to see this story get a sequel or a remake with proper cash behind it. However, this might be a case where the independent feel would be lost. 

No matter what, this is a cool entry that horror fans will enjoy.