THE DEVIL BELOW is a new horror movie (also known as Shookum Hills). It’s a true monster flick with a very interesting backstory. Also, it has a slow-burn vibe which could be good. Ultimately, it just doesn’t quite work. Read our full The Devil Below movie review here!

THE DEVIL BELOW is a new horror movie that was previously known as Shookum Hills. On paper, this sounds like the kind of movie I’d really enjoy. Both due to the monster aspect of the plot, the mysterious backstory, and the slow-burn vibe.

However, I’m actually quite sad to report that it never really did much for me. I kept waiting for something more or different, but it just never came. The characters also showed promise but never became “real” in that fleshed-out way that makes you truly care for them. 

Continue reading our full The Devil Below movie review below.

Definite potential in this concept

I do love a good monster flick. Whether we’re talking Alien, Godzilla, or simply those creatures from Neil Marshall‘s The Descent, I am definitely a sucker for all of it. Hell, I even like the very human kind of monster known as “a serial killer”. Probably because I enjoy seeing the average human beings going up against something so cruel and deadly.

You might like: Check out the trailer for the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) movie here >

As far as The Devil Below is concerned, we’re mostly in The Descent but with monsters that are definitely bigger. Speaking of “big”, I did really enjoy the ending which features quite the impressive being. And yes, it reminded me of a movie from the Alien franchise. And that’s all I’ll say about that!

But why am I referencing all these other monster movies instead of covering what this new movie offers? Because it never really struck a nerve with me. I mean, apart from moments where it looked cool or something happened that made me jump a bit, I just didn’t care much either way.

It would have been obvious to build-in emotion by doing something along the lines of the Finnish Christmas horror movie Rare Exports, but even that opportunity was missed. Basically, this concept had so much potential and didn’t use it nearly as well as possible.

THE DEVIL BELOW (2021) review

The cast of The Devil Below

You’ll probably be happy to see several familiar faces in The Devil Below (aka Shookum Hills). I know I’m always happy to see Will Patton. After all, he has made quite the name for himself in all kinds of genres. More recently, he has made an impact in horror movies with titles such as Halloween (the 2018 reboot which will be a trilogy) and Blood on Her Name.

Fortunately, Will Patton does play quite a big part in this movie. Even if he doesn’t have that much screentime, he’s part of both the flashback moments and the current debacle. Up next for Will Patton is the fifth and final installment in The Purge franchise. It’s called The Forever Purge and is due out in July of 2021.

Also in the cast of The Devil Below is Jonathan Sadowski. You might recognize him from Friday the 13th (2009) or Chernobyl Diaries (2012). The main female character is portrayed by Spanish actor Alicia Sanz (From Dusk till Dawn: The Series). She certainly does what she can, but when she’s made up to look like Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, it’s an uphill battle for her.

Watch The Devil Below on VOD or in select theaters

Bradley Parker is the director of The Devil Below which has a screenplay written by Stefan Jaworski and Eric Scherbarth.

This is the first screenwriter credit for Eric Scherbarth on a feature film. Stefan Jaworski, however, has quite a few impressive credits on his resume. Especially as one of the people who came up with the concept for Those Who Kill. This was first a Danish TV series and then became an American production starring Chloë Sevigny.

To be quite honest, my expectations were pretty high since I enjoyed Bradley Parker’s 2012 feature film debut Chernobyl Diaries. Also, he worked as a second unit director on most of Matt Reeves’ movies. From Let Me In (2010) to two of the three Planet of the Apes movies, and on the upcoming The Batman (2022).

All of this just told me this movie would be his moment to shine. And with this movie, he just did not. Ultimately, it isn’t that I would call The Devil Below a bad movie. Not at all. It just doesn’t quite work for me either and that was a real letdown.

The Devil Below is out in select theaters, on VOD & Digital from March 5, 2021.

Details

Director: Brad Parker
Writers: Eric Scherbarth, Stefan Jaworski
Stars: Will Patton, Alicia Sanz, Adan Canto, Zach Avery, Jesse LaTourette, Jonathan Sadowski

Plot

There is an abandoned place nestled deep in Appalachian country where underground coal mines have been ablaze for decades. When a team of researchers try to find out how the fires started, they soon discover something more startling than the mystery that sent them there: they’re not alone.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina
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