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Darren Lynn Bousman
This movie is about the Vineyard family and their trip to the New Jersey Pine Barrens. There is a legend that the Jersey Devil lives in these woods. It came about after a woman known as Mother Leeds had 13 children, but she offered up the 13th child to the Devil so she and her other children didn't have to leave their house as they were going to be forced out by the town folk because she was having too many kids in the area back in the 1700s. So it's now the present, and the Vineyard family are going to camp there so the father (Stephen Moyer) can release his father's ashes. But while there they hear that someone has gone missing, and Richard (Moyer) thinks it's the work of the Jersey Devil. So they move their camp site to get away from the rest of the campers only to find that they're in more trouble than they were before. But is the legend of the Jersey Devil real, or is it just another story? Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
It's not the worst horror movie I have seen and I wished it wasn't a horror movie at all. Basically the "Legend" of the Jersey Devil is just a badly integrated background plot, anything would have done the job here, even a story about a wild bear going rampant...
The opening scenes are like in every B-grade horror movie, a pair wandering through the woods, getting lost, finding strange things and then a sudden cut and the actual movie begins. Of course at the home of a (not so) happy family preparing for a camping trip. After finishing the movie I felt the opening scene completely useless, it does not even set the right mood for the movie that follows.
As the story develops (painfully slowly) we find that the patchwork family is pretty normal, although the amount of problems presented here is a bit too much in my opinion. There are some small references (or should I say stolen ideas) to characters and stereotypes from other great horror movies and authors of the past. You soon learn that the father is a bit stressed out and is pushing the family to some personal goal, not a camping trip.
This is actually the only thing that was kind of well done in this movie. The "secret" about the father and what drives him is well embedded and this part of the story told in a good pace. What couldn't believe is that a living father would ever endanger his family in such a way he does, long before he lost control about his decisions. That guy neglects every signal of impeding danger and he ignores every helping hand, even from his beloved ones. This is too much story crunching and totally unreal.
The middle part of the movie is still the best part, as the plot gets denser and things start to happen. When all hell breaks loose I didn't believe in a monster flick anymore and it felt good. It was way more proper to see this movie as a psychological (horror) thriller...and then the final scenes happened.
Everyone screams too much, stumbles over invisible branches on the floor all the time and a silly scene with a shotgun hobo and a wild cat are added to prolong the really idiotic last scene that spoils the entire movie. Or one could say it completes the circle as the final scene fits very well with the opening scene. Both belong into a C- movie while the middle part is, though over-constructed and a bit far stretched, quite good compared to the rest.
It felt like two movies, the monster version is something I wish I hadn't seen at all, while the middle part had some Hitchcockian elements.
Stephen Moyer and Mia Kirshner play their roles solid and in the last part of the movie really convincingly. The kids, well, Allie MacDonald seems to stay a TV series actress for good reason, I hoped for more but it seems beyond here capability. DeCunha plays Danny Boy like on drugs, don't know what to expect here in the future.
So, the Devil story was silly and the movie will disappoint horror and thriller fans alike. Camera was quite good in some parts, the rest was constructed to uncaring that I wouldn't actually recommend this movie to anyone.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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