The majority of the films that I cover in my reviews are ones that I specifically ask to receive copies of. There are the rare occasions when I write about films that are simply collecting dust on my shelves and then there are the even more rare instances when I am approached to share my thoughts on a particular film. This is exactly what happened this time with Kieran Edwards’ The Devil’s Familiar.
Two film students are working on their final project before graduating. They are documenting a case from 2006 where a woman was accused of murdering two people. The suspect, of course, denies all of this and instead blames some mythical creature for the death and disappearance of the two victims. Can Elliot and Jake get to the bottom of what really happened so many years ago?
I am sometimes wary when approached by independent filmmakers in regards to checking out their work. I am a huge fan of movies, horror or otherwise, but I have become jaded with big budget flicks and the very talented directors who inhabit our favorite genre. Still, I do give low-budget flicks a chance from time to time, in hopes of finding the next promising talent horror has to offer.
The Devil’s Familiar starts off kind of rough, showing its nearly non-existent budget right out of the gate. The camera quality is subpar, the sound is not crisp at all and the acting is just okay. Once the found footage part of film gets underway, however, all of this can be forgiven.
I have always been a firm believer that the easiest movie for a filmmaker who is on a tight budget to make is a found footage flick. The shaky camera style and the do-it-yourself motif helps tremendously when trying to mask certain things that cannot be pulled off as successfully as one hopes for.
The Devil’s Familiar, more specifically the director of The Devil’s Familiar, Kieran Edwards, does a tremendous job of utilizing this found footage format to tell his tale.
Generally these types of films feature casts of performers who are emotionless or, conversely, overly dramatic. In the case of Edwards’ The Devil’s Familiar, however, the main actors seen throughout are naturals at being, well, natural.
Uriel Davies, who portrays student Elliot, does a fantastic job of making the story of this giant cat-like beast a believable one. His performance single-handedly made this no-budget flick enjoyable and I hope to see more of him in the future.
In addition to Davies’ performance and those of his peers, writer and director Edwards shows a great sense of responsibility. What I mean is, he knew exactly what his budget allowed for and did not try to do too much with the little resources he had.
The Devil’s Familiar is a low-budget supernatural monster movie and Edwards knew there was no need to get a close-up shot of what is simply a man in a monster suit. Instead, we only see glimpses from far away or just out of frame. This is enough to get the point across, instill some fear into the viewers, and move the story along in a meaningful manner. This restraint to not show “too much” is a true sign that Edwards is a filmmaker with lots of potential and is certainly one to look out for in the future.
I have been informed that the film does indeed have a distribution deal, but I am not sure when and by whom the film will be officially released. Because of this, I cannot tell you guys how to catch it. I do, however, implore you guys to keep note of the name The Devil’s Familiar and give it a watch when it does become available to the public.
This 60 minute flick, filmed in Worcestershire, UK is a fun watch and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the found footage sub-genre. It has competent performers all around and features impressive blood and gore effects on a shoestring budget.
I give The Devil’s Familiar 3 big cat sightings out of 5.