WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS is a new horror movie from the Adams family. It’s a disturbing and fascinating tale that I cannot take my eyes off. Screening at Fantasia 2023. Read our Where the Devil Roams movie review here!
WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS is a horror movie from the movie-making Adams family. It’s a low-budget production where the family members take part in various parts of the production. If you’ve watched their previous movie Hellbender, then you know what this means.
If you haven’t watched any of their previous movies, then just know that it’s above and beyond what the budget indicates. So much bigger, bolder, and yes, even better than the sum of its parts. Once again, it features a story and characters that are as fascinating as they are disturbing.
Continue reading our Where the Devil Roams movie review below. Screening at Fantasia 2023.
It all begins with a poem
Well, whether it’s a poem, a curse, or a spell is up for interpretation, I suppose. In any case, the words are these:
“While the body rots to dust and bones, there’s a tear in the heart, where the devil roams”
These words will soon have a deep impact on Maggie, Seven, and Eve. These characters are portrayed by Toby Poser, John Adams, and Zelda Adams (aka the Adams Family) respectively. They are a traveling family of performers, constantly moving with the dying carnival circuit of Depression-era America.
It’s a tough time to be alive and even the Carnie scene is dying. Also, it’s a time and scene steeped in superstition, distrust, and occult magic.
While the family does have an actual creative performance on the Carnival circuit, they also have other “collaborations” that bond them. Those are of a more criminal variety and while they struggle to survive, especially one of them is quick to violence. Or murder, to be exact.
Weaving into the story of the family is the popular carny, Mr. Tibbs (Sam Rodd). He has a sensationally gruesome act that leads right back to the poem. And Eve wants that magic for herself and her family, which is a very dangerous move in many ways.
An indie take on Nightmare Alley
Very early on while watching Where the Devil Roams, I got a distinct Nightmare Alley vibe. Yes, I’m comparing this indie gem to a movie by horror master Guillermo del Toro that featured a star-studded and award-winning cast.
MORE FROM GUILLERMO DEL TORO
However, make no mistake, where Nightmare Alley was a genre-hybrid with a noir vibe, this indie movie is an entirely different beast.
Where the Devil Roams is very much a horror movie. There is a supernatural element and the devil is both in the title, the detail, and a core part of the plot.
Where the Devil Roams at Fantasia 2023
The Adams Family are the three brilliant masterminds behind Where the Devil Roams. Mom (Toby Poser), dad (John Adams), and daughter (Zelda Adams) are the writers and directors as well as stars of this movie.
This time, the story was based on something from a nightmare Zelda had. Cast alongside them for this movie is an assortment of charismatic carnies resulting in nearly 80 characters. A much larger cast than ever before.
Yet it’s still the same three family members in charge of nearly everything. Both in front of the camera and behind.
Their two previous genre movies The Deeper You Dig and Hellbender had their world premieres at Fantasia 2023 and it really is the perfect setting for them. I saw this latest movie referred to as a “sense-shaking genre blessing” and I could not have said it better myself.
They create a universe where the audience is brought to an older and simpler world, but the music and score is modern. No surprise as they always also produce the music for their movies. And yes, this works perfectly as well. In this case, even more so than earlier as it increases the jarring feeling of the visuals.
Where the Devil Roams is currently screening at Fantasia 2023. After playing Fantastic Fest, Where the Devil Roams is coming exclusively to Tubi.
Directors: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser
Writers: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser
Cast: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser
Traces a family of murderous sideshow performers as it travels around the world on the dying carnival circuit.