Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Devil's Rock (2011)

Director: Paul Campion

Writers: Paul Finch, Paul Campion, Brett Ihaka

Composer: Andrea Possee

Starring: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela, Karlos Drinkwater, Geraldine Brophy, Luke Hawker, Jessica Grace Smith, Jonathan King, Nick Dunbar, Hadyn Green

More info: IMDb

Tagline: War is a Bitch

Plot: Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day,two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler's forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

There are a few things going for this before the movie starts.  It's a New Zealand picture set during WWII with occult-loving Nazis with a small cast and doing it all in a bunker.  There's so much potential.  It's not easy pulling off a film in a small, enclosed space and keep it interesting and compelling.  Horror movies, when done well, can excel under these conditions.  If you can create and sustain a creepy atmosphere, that's half the battle.  Atmosphere goes a long way but you still need a compelling story and characters to care about...like this...

That's a heapin' helpin' of hubba hubba.  Sadly, that's at the tail end of the movie.  Bwahahahahahahaha.  Side note, when 'it' shows up, listen for a great RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) reference.  Loved it.  If you find yourself bored at any point, it would behoove you to stick around for the last 20 minutes.  It's a great payoff.  A GREAT fucking payoff.  The makeup effects on the demon are outstanding and the music during the final act stays moody but it ramps it up a few notches (thumbs up).  So is it worth checking out?  Absolutely.  This is a great example of what you can do with essentially three characters for an hour and a half (two characters for most of that).  It's an effective use of limited space.  I cared more for for the German Colonel than I did for the New Zealand Captain (he wasn't given much to make him interesting or sympathetic).  I reckon we're just supposed to like him for the mere fact that he's an Allied soldier who's on our side.  For whatever misgivings I have for the first hour, that final act is very nicely executed and those minutes alone elevate this picture to an A-picture level.  I will watch this again.  I just checked Amazon for the DVD.  It has a commentary track and other extras and I just bought it for just over five bucks.  That's cheap enough for a blind buy if this sounds like your kind of thing.

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