The Devil’s Well concerns the misadventures of a husband and wife paranormal investigation team that arrive in a small town to investigate a hotspot called The Devil’s Well (‘natch). Well the wife of the duo, Karla, goes missing, and the chief suspect is of course her husband Bryan is suspecto numero uno (I’m a cunning linguist my fiends).
Presented in documentary format (with a nice variety of interviews, camera footage, news reports etc.), we get to learn all the facts of the case including that the victim’s family was morally opposed to Karla’s work with the supernatural. Soon we learn that the well, located in a basement of all places, is a rumored portal to hell with a long and sordid past, and our heroes begin an investigation which leads to Karla’s disappearance. Flash forward a year, and a new party, including Bryan, return to the arcane abode to attempt to find ol’ Karla…and of course they find so much more than they bargained for!
The first thing you’ll notice about The Devil’s Well is that the acting on display is better (read ‘waaaaay fucking better’) than you normally find in the low budget found footage genre. The entire cast delivers believable, at times emotional, performances that really sell the ‘reality’ of the piece. Also, as mentioned above, the variety of footage we are presented with is a huge plus as well, and really helps build the ‘world’ the film makers present. Additionally the segment of the film detailing the exploration of the well and it’s environs is handled well, with a jokey lighthearted tone turning decidedly sour rather quickly, and the suspense building nicely along with a nice sense of mythology (and some stellar eleventh hour ’70’s style occultism).
As for the negatives, you can expect plenty more ‘tell’ than ‘show’ in regards tot he supernatural elements of this story. As with most film’s in this genre, the budget just isn’t there to present gobs and gobs (or in some cases any at all) of ghosts n’ goblins (for the record there is some deviltry afoot here that you do get to see late into the flick’s third act). Also, and this shouldn’t even need to be said, if you absolutely hate the found footage genre this will most likely not float your beastly boat (but I would urge you to give it a try since it’s better than roughly 99% of these types of things and may prove to you that these pictures can be handled correctly).
A real cut above most found footage flicks, The Devil’s Well presents a believable world populated by characters you actually care about. Well worth a look for fans of the genre who want to see it handled expertly and engagingly.
For more on The Devil’s Well from Horror Fuel head here!