I Trapped the Devil is a horror film that was written, directed & edited by Josh Lobo in his feature film directional debut. It premiered at the Imagine Film Festival before releasing via various platforms in early 2019.
Matt and his wife Karen arrive unexpectedly to visit Matt’s troubled brother Steve for Christmas. Based on the blacked-out windows and odd atmosphere, Matt tells Karen that something feels wrong. Following several tense conversations between the three of them, Steve shows Matt and Karen a padlocked door bearing a cross in the basement. Matt and Karen hear a man’s voice ask for help from the other side. Steve claims that the imprisoned man is the devil.
I Trapped the Devil has a decent setup with an intriguing concept. It manages to generate something of a creepy atmosphere in its early moments. You can’t help but wonder, just what is Steve hiding from his relatives? Unfortunately, it isn’t much of a mystery considering the title of the film is a dead giveaway. This kills the intrigue and makes the slow build to the reveal a chore to sit through. I would have preferred it if the film was named something else to preserve the ambiguity.
However, that’s the least of the problems with I Trapped the Devil. The concept isn’t a bad one but it’s executed in seriously mundane fashion. In fact, so very little actually takes place throughout its runtime that there just isn’t much to review. There are frustratingly long periods where literally nothing happens. There’s a 15-20 minute period where characters can be seen sleeping or blankly staring with no dialogue to break it up. This film is an endurance test on how much of it you can take before you give up completely. If all that wasn’t bad enough, it’s even hard to follow.
The acting isn’t bad, the material is just poor. The biggest compliment I can give it is that the cinematography is sometimes interesting. Although, usually only for a moment. Also, it being set on Christmas has no bearing on the film whatsoever. It’s just a plot device to explain why they are visiting in the first place.
Overall, I Trapped the Devil would serve well as a therapy for those that suffer with Insomnia. I’m not against slow-burn movies but this is a step too far.
I Trapped the Devil
The Final Score - 2/10
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