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The Diabolical (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Alistair Legrand

Starring:
Ali Larter/Allison
Isaac Salzman/Stuart
Chloe Perrin/Haley
Patrick Fischler/Austin
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Single mom Allison (Ali Larter) has to protect her kids from a threat (s) that has been plaguing her home for a while now.
THE LOWDOWN

I went in THE DIABOLICAL knowing NOTHING about it. And as the end credits rolled, I was “so-so” about it. On that, the watch kind of begged for a second viewing (I’ll explain below why) but alas I do not have he luxury to sit through it once again and find out if it makes for a fuller watch. Therefore my take on a first round with it will have to do! Here it goes!

Right off the bat I dug how THE DIABLICAL handled itself. As opposed to us witnessing yet another family move into a house and weird shit starts to happen, with this baby, we were already in the house and the weird shit has been happening for a while now. In fact, we meet a family that has somewhat learned to deal with it; that’s until shit escalates to a higher echelon that is, but more on that later. So starting a picture of this ilk in that manner came off as “fresh” for me. After the torture porn subgenre died out with the last SAW flick, haunted house movies kind of took over the helm of what’s “in” horror wise. Hence, we’ve seen this kind of story a zillion times already and The Diabolical slyly played on that. It used what we know against us. Visually, I was pretty damn floored by the inventive shots and the kinetic camera work that was on display here. First time director Alistair Legrand came off as a veteran and he was BEYOND well backed by DP John Frost who left quite the impression on me. Mofo got skills.

The cast on hand was solid as well! Ali Larter once again proved why she is one of the best actresses working in the genre today. She gave an emotionally resonant showcase, I mean she had to hit every level you can think of, and she did so with gusto. Also, the woman does NOT age. Incredible. Larter had able support via child actors Isaac Salzman and Chloe Perrin. Salzman in particular, was simply astounding as her troubled son. If I go by talent alone, this kid has quite the career ahead of him as he gave one hell of a grounded and credible performance. Kudos kid! Add to all that some mucho efficient creature effects and a U-turn during the last act that gave everything that went down an all new layer (that is me being vague) hence begging for a that viewing I was talking about, and you get and ambitious little genre film, one that tried really hard to go above and beyond what we’ve already seen ad nauseam. So what’s my problem then, why didn’t I dig it more? Here it goes…

For starters, I didn’t care for the token boyfriend character. Granted he eventually served a purpose but by then I did not give a bleep as to the new info they rushed my way. Speaking of “rushing” maybe the new direction the film took come the last act would have had more impact if it didn’t feel like it came out of nowhere. Although clever and inventive it didn’t come off as organic to me. It felt forced and underdeveloped. But again, that was on ONE watch, hence me wanting to see the film again to judge it. And was I alone in thinking that the middle section lagged a bit? The chain of events started to feel redundant and it came off like the story was stalling cause it was out of meat until its third plot turn kicked in. Finally, I saw the “ghost” so much that it started to be non-scary. Worse yet, some of the later ghost attacks came off as cheesy, The Mr. Clean look  "it" finally adopted wound up being the opposite of frightening. Funny on the other end…yeah!!! I wanted to toss that dude a mop!

So there ya have it, my thoughts on a first watch while having ZERO inkling as to what I was in for. I esteemed THE DIABOLICAL for trying to take tired conventions and injecting new ideas into them. And for that alone, I recommend you see it!It is worth at least one watch! On that, for me, it just didn’t knock it out of the park! But hey, that’s just me, one man’s opinion, go watch it and find out for yourself how you feel!

GORE
We get disturbing looking creatures, a slit throat, knife cuts and more! The film was more axed on tension than red grub!
T & A
No.
BOTTOM LINE
THE DIABOLICAL looked sleek, sported a handful of bang on scary bits, had a strong cast and gunned out enough unique spins on the haunted house subgenre to come off as fresh. Sadly for me, the middle section lagged as it killed time by way of repeating itself till its reveal, the monsters stopped being scary after a while and the spin on things was ambitious but felt rushed my way and undercooked. Look like I said before, in a perfect world, I ‘d get to watch this one again before stamping this garbage about it out in the world. But that’s not gonna happen. So I’ll end with this – who gives a f*ck what think – see the move and judge for yourself. Hit me with your thoughts below! Peace love and head jobs! Arrow.
BULL'S EYE
Director Alistair Legrand was born in France.

Ali Larter's first film role was in Varsity Blues (1999).
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10:56AM on 10/16/2015

Haven't seen it yet but

I'll watch Ali Larter do frickin anything for 90 minutes. Read the phone book, cook eggs, strip...
I'll watch Ali Larter do frickin anything for 90 minutes. Read the phone book, cook eggs, strip...
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