Film Review: DEVIL’S GATE (2017)

Film Review: DEVIL’S GATE (2017)

Jan 23, 2018


We’re all familiar with the theory that alien visitors are the source of ancient tales of Gods and Demons interacting with mankind. Even various biblical have been attributed to celestial beings rather than divine ones. But could that happen today, in a world drenched in technology? Maybe if it happened in rural part of the Bible Belt, somewhere like Devil’s Gate, North Dakota.

FBI Special Agent Daria Francis (Amanda Schull I AM WRATH) has been sent to the nowhere town of Devil’s Gate to investigate the disappearance of a woman and her young son. The local sheriff (Jonathan Frakes STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) doesn’t think foul play is involved and palms her off on Deputy Conrad ‘Colt’ Salter (Shawn Ashmore FROZEN, THE BARRENS). Their visit to the missing woman’s abusive husband Jackson (Milo Ventimiglia THE DIVIDE) quickly escalates when he pulls a gun on them. However it’s the creature he has locked in a cage in the basement that should worry them. Jackson claims it’s one of the devils that abducted his wife and child and he plans to trade it for their release. As an incredibly intense electrical storm descends on the remote farmhouse he’s about to get his chance.

Starting out like any of a million backwoods slashers, DEVIL’S GATE is a film that thrives on skillful misdirection. Just as you think you have things figured out it tosses in a twist that sends things off in another direction and the plot morphs into something keeping you guessing up until the end, something that can’t be said for a lot of films these days.

Director and co-writer Clay Staub makes his feature debut with DEVIL’S GATE but he’s worked as an assistant director on 300, DAWN OF THE DEAD and THE THING prequel and learned well. Staub also designed the creatures and did the storyboards.

This was a passion project for him and it shows. The effort has paid off with a creepy, moody and intense creature feature.

DEVIL’S GATE is available on VOD from IFC Midnight.