The Devil Below, Brad Parker, Alicia Sanz, Will Patton (Horror Movie Review)

The Devil Below, Brad Parker, Alicia Sanz, Will Patton (Horror Movie Review)
5 10

PLOT: Led by a wilderness tracker, a group of researchers set out to find an Appalachian town that was abandoned after a mining accident decades ago. Once they reach the town, they discover the mining accident unleashed monstrous creatures.

REVIEW: Nine years after making his feature directorial debut with Chernobyl Diaries, a creature feature about people being attacked by mutants in an abandoned town near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Brad Parker has directed a new film called The Devil Below (watch it HERE), which is about people being attacked by strange creatures in an abandoned Appalachian mining town. Parker seems to be drawn to a certain kind of subject, but unfortunately The Devil Below doesn't make for a very good viewing experience.

The story goes back a few decades, to a time when the coal mines beneath the town of Shookum Hills caught fire, releasing poisonous gases and forcing the locals to abandon the town completely. At least, that's the official story. One theory is that Shookum Hills was abandoned after an attempt to replicate the "Well to Hell" in Russia; legend has it that a Russian team drilled a hole eight miles deep and heard the screams of the damned emanating from within. Maybe there's a hole that goes all the way to Hell in Shookum Hills, too. And maybe something horrible has emerged from it... A group of researchers are determined to find out for sure, and since Shookum Hills can't even be found on the map at this point, they hire wilderness tracker Arianne (Alicia Sanz) to help them locate the place. 

The Devil Below Brad Parker Alicia Sanz

A bunch of unlucky people being stalked by monsters from Hell in an abandoned mining town sounds like a cool set-up for a horror movie, but The Devil Below never lives up to its potential. There are a few good moments involving creatures that look kind of goofy, especially in a scene where we see one rowing a raft, but for the most part the attempts at creating suspense only succeed in being dull. It doesn't help that there are no interesting characters here for us to latch on to; viewers will be hard pressed to care about any one of the people who venture into Shookum Hills. Not even Will Patton, who shows up as a former Shookum Hills resident with knowledge of what's going on there, can manage to stir up interest or sympathy.

Nearly half of The Devil Below's running time has gone by, with very little going on, by the time Arianne and her crew have their first encounter with the creatures that dwell below Shookum Hills, but that doesn't open the door to an action-packed second half. The film feels like it's moving at a crawl throughout, seeming to last longer than it is.

The Devil Below Alicia Sanz Brad Parker

Parker assembled a good cast for his movie, in addition to the actors mentioned above there's also Adan Canto, Zach Avery, Chinaza Uche, Jonathan Sadowski, Jesse LaTourette, and Kevin Wayne, but the screenplay by Stefan Jaworski and Eric Scherbarth just doesn't give them enough to work with, and the execution of the material is lacking. It's astounding that a film in which creatures are dispatched with explosions on multiple occasions can be this tedious.

The Devil Below is only recommended if you're experiencing a serious case of "new creature feature" desperation.

Vertical Entertainment will be giving The Devil Below a theatrical, VOD, and digital release on March 5th.

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