Written and directed by Kurtis Spieler, The Devil’s Well (also known as The Unexplained Disappearance of Karla Marks) is a creepy horror dealing with the paranormal & Satanism. Starring Bryan Manley Davis, Chris Viemeister, David Alexander and Anne-Marie Mueschke, the first part of the movie plays out like a documentary.
Karla & Bryan Marks are a husband & wife paranormal investigator team that decide to check out The Devil’s Well. A well that sits in the basement of an abandoned building & is said to be a gateway into Hell.
Karla disappears seemingly into thin air & Bryan is arrested under suspicion of murder. The police have nothing on him though & he protests his innocence convinced something paranormal occurred. Through conversations with Karla’s parents, other investigators & Bryan himself the picture begins to come together.
One year later, a group of investigators (along with Bryan) head back to the well to try & uncover the truth about Karla. Their hope is to find some sort of paranormal activity to back up Bryan’s story. This part of the movie takes on a found-footage style with static & handheld cameras but thankfully avoids many of the issues that often come with that. Here the camera use makes sense as the team are trying to document anything & everything they find.
Most of the scares are things we’ve seen far too many times before but The Devil’s Well does a great job of making them that little bit creepier. It does this by being mysterious about just what is actually happening forcing your imagination into overdrive. Are there actually ghostly goings on? Does the well actually lead to hell? Does Bryan know more than he is letting on?
There may not be much in the way of originality here but it certainly doesn’t tread water. Especially when compared to many others within the documentary/found-footage style of horror. The acting is pretty solid, the found-footage tropes don’t frustrate & the ending, while ambiguous leaves a cold chill. Overall a great effort that’s definitely worth checking out.
The Devil's Well