‘Devil’s Due’ appropriates the storyline from ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, of a woman possibly pregnant with the devil’s child, then amps it up with found footage and telekinetic mayhem. A perennial complaint about horror movies is that they don’t bother to develop their characters to a point where the audience actually cares about them. You can’t level that criticism at Lindsay Devlin’s naturalistic script or the direction by Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (members of the Radio Silence collective who were behind ‘10/31/98’, the Halloween-themed segment of horror anthology ‘V/H/S’). In fact, ‘Devil’s Due’ spends far too much time on home movie footage of likeable newlyweds Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha McCall (Allison Miller), while neglecting to scare the bejesus out of us.
True, the digitally documented progress of Sam’s disturbing pregnancy is punctuated with hints that she is swollen with something more than motherly pride. But all these elements are too familiar: a biblical quote about the coming of the Antichrist; a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic that ends with a night of Bacchanalia, drunken amnesia and fuzzy video images of a weird ritual; the revelation that Sam was untimely ripped from her dying mother’s womb; the creepy replacement doctor; and the shadowy figures lurking outside the house at night. Also, as ever, the million-dollar question remains: why does Zach carry on filming as he is being flung against the ceiling by demonic forces? And just who edited images from more than a dozen different cameras into a convenient 90-minute movie-length narrative after the event?