xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
The month of January, long a cinematic dumping ground for films that the studios have precious little faith in, has become a inexplicably fertile time for cheapo horror films. They pop up in the multiplexes and make back their budget and then some on the strength of a strong opening weekend fueled by bored teenagers with no interest in Oscar bait, then quickly fade into obscurity. The latest aspirant for future heavy rotation on the lesser cable channels is "Devil's Due," a bit of Satanic silliness that is so derivative and dull that it makes such gumdrops as "The Devil Inside" and "The Last Exorcism Part II" seem borderline competent by comparison—that is, if anyone watching it could stay awake long enough to make the comparisons.
Our tale kicks off as newlyweds Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha (Allison Miller) jet to the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon. On their last night out, they get lost and accept a ride from a cabbie who offers to take them to a cool underground party on the outskirts of town. After a night that they can barely remember, the couple returns home and almost immediately discover that Sam is pregnant. Vegetarian Sam develops a taste for red meat, their OB-GYN mysteriously vanishes and is replaced by another guy, Sam beats up an SUV that nearly hits her in a parking lot and a First Communion ceremony that the couple attends ends in more bloodshed than is normal such an event. While I wouldn't dream of giving away any key plot details, I will suggest that the title is almost as spoileriffic as "Lone Survivor" and leave it at that.
"Devil's Due" is one of those films that borrows so many key elements from other and often better movies that genre buffs could amuse themselves by composing lists of all the titles that it blatantly rips off throughout—"Rosemary's Baby" is the obvious leaping-off point for Lindsay Devlin's screenplay but there are bits and pieces from everything from "The Exorcist" to the "Paranormal Activity" series entire—oh yeah, the whole thing is staged as one of those found-footage deals in which the characters continue filming even when all hell is literally breaking loose—find their way into the narrative as well.
This might not have been so bad if co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet (whose previous credit was a similarly-themed segment from the horror anthology "V/H/S") had figured out some creative spin on the familiar, but they apparently spent all their time and energy trying to justify the found-footage gimmick and had nothing left for the rest of the film.
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