A husband and wife team of paranormal investigators go out on a mission, only one comes back. A year to the day later the survivor mounts a new expedition to find out what happened and clear his name. We’ve seen a million variation of this, mostly in found footage films. Now writer/director Kurtis Spieler (SHEEP SKIN) takes his shot at it with THE DEVIL’S WELL.
Bryan (Bryan Manley Davis) and Karla Marks (Anne-Marie Mueschke) are investigating the title location when the batteries on Karla’s camera give out. Bryan runs to the car to get the spare, when he returns she’s gone without a trace. A year later he’s been arrested but cleared of any wrongdoing. He’s still widely believed to be guilty however. So on the anniversary of her disappearance he returns with a new team of investigators to solve the mystery. They find more answers than they were looking for.
I’m not really a fan of found footage films and even I could see the cliches starting to pile up quickly. From the creepy location and ill fated research team to the bickering members of the new team it’s all pretty predictable. Spieler does a good job of giving found footage fans what they want but others will find it a bit tedious. THE DEVIL’S WELL is well done technically, starting with a mix of interviews and recovered footage before switching over to the footage of the second expedition which helps add a bit of variety beyond the usual dimly lit footage. Spieler wisely keeps the extreme shaky camera footage to a minimum making it a lot more watchable than most films of its type.
In the end it’s going to come down to how much you like this sort of film. If you’re one of the fans who help keep found footage films popular THE DEVIL’S WELL is probably worth a watch. It’s a well enough done if by the numbers film. It’s nowhere near as bad as EPISODE 50 for example. If your only a casual fan of this style of horror, you may well be disappointed, this isn’t another GRAVE ENCOUNTERS or DARK TAPES.
THE DEVIL’S WELL will be released on DVD 1/23 from Wild Eye Releasing.