Thursday, 27 September 2012

Raindance 2012: Here Comes The Devil AKA Ahí va el diablo (2012)

Taking a much-needed break in Tijuana, Felix (Francisco Barreiro) and Sol (Laura Caro) take their two children Sara (Michele Garcia) and Adolfo (Alan Martinez) on a day out. During their day out, Sara has her very first period, something that catches the attention of local oddball Lucio. Despite the trauma, Adolfo and Sara decide they want to climb the rocky hill near the petrol station they are parked at. While they climb the hill Felix and Sol, take a nap, but when they awake, many hours after the children should have returned, their lives turn upside down. Luckily the following morning the children return unharmed, or did they?

Here Comes The Devil is the latest movie from Adrian Garcia Bogliano, whose previous movies include Cold Sweat and Prenumbra. This is by far his most accomplished work, it sends those little sharp nerve triggers across your body from just five minutes in. If you have had the good fortune to see Picnic At Hanging Rock, you will find a lot of similarities here, but whereas Hanging Rock leaves you very much in the dark, this movie takes you through every sordid moment, and it gives you far less comfort in the process. 

The movie develops in a really interesting way, while much of what happens could be considered predictable, the way the key things pans out is not quite so straightforward. It’s in this area that Here Comes The Devil has it’s power, the fact that what you expect, happens in ways other than you assume they will, and other aspects you do not expect hit with an incredibly powerful punch.

From about 45 minutes in, the movie really starts to get under your skin, Felix and Sol put two and two together to produce five, and head off to commit a crime in a very lynch mob style mentality. It’s this extreme act that really takes hold of the audience, and this sets the tone for the rest of the movie. 

Sex features highly on the agenda, opening with a fairly revealing lesbian sex scene, this is followed up with a masturbation scene, and the overall impression that everything bad that happens in the movie stems from sex, or at least has a sexual motive.

Here Comes The Devil is the most powerful Mexican movie in at least three decades (in my opinion), not since Rene Cardona Jr. disturbed viewers with his movie Cyclone, which created the ultimate series of snuff movie conspiracies, has Mexican cinema delivered a film with such gusto. It’s an incredibly powerful movie, that because of its legacy,(few Mexican movies getting acclaim) stands head and shoulders above all competition.

Here Comes The Devil received it’s UK premier last evening as part of the Raindance Film Festival; it will undoubtedly do the festival circuit before getting limited UK releases, before being released on DVD by Metrodome. If you get the chance, see this movie!

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