Horror Movie Review: The Devil’s Candy (2017)

The Devil’s Candy follows Jesse Hellman, a struggling painter who moves to a secluded house in the countryside with his wife Astrid and their daughter Zooey. Jesse & Zooey share a mutual love of heavy metal, much to the chagrin of Astrid who presumably prefers something a little softer. The estate agent informs the couple that two deaths had recently taken place at the house. This is shown in the opening of the film. You witness a troubled man called Ray, who was recently released from a mental hospital. He is plagued by demonic voices that he attempts to silence with regular blasts of his electric guitar. This awakens a woman who he murders before she can call the hospital.

The estate agent lies to the pair, telling them that the deaths were merely natural. They decide to go ahead with the move and begin settling in. It isn’t long before Jesse begins to hear the same demonic voices that Ray had. Jesse draws inspiration from it, and paints a black and white crucifix, much like the one seen in Ray’s room.

A few days later, Ray arrives to the Hellman’s house and has a conversation with Zooey about music, to which Jesse reacts aggressively after Ray insists on returning to that house, because it used to belong to their parents. The next day, Zooey and Jesse find a guitar and amplifier outside their house, apparently a gift from Ray. When asked if she can keep them, Jesse refuses.

Still immersed in his art, Jesse approaches an art gallery that he’s apparently contacted before. He asks the receptionist to show a new painting to Leonard, to which the receptionist reacts pleased. Elsewhere, Ray sits in his car and watches two kids walk their dog in the distance, and after the older boy chases their dog to the forest, he approaches the younger child and knocks him unconscious.

Shortly after, he carries him to a motel he’d previously registered at, kills him, and buries him in the forest; at an already dug up hole with several suitcases. Jesse is becoming more and more consumed by the voices. Seemingly connected to Ray, he paints faces on a new painting, including the kid Ray had recently killed. Also, one of the faces depicts Zooey, burning alive. Astrid is furious that Jesse would paint such a thing. He informs her that he wants to destroy it but he simply can’t, not until it is complete.

In the house at night, Zooey is awakened by Ray, who covers her mouth with his hand and threatens her to do what he says. She screams when given the opportunity which angers Ray but alerts Astrid. Jesse is outside, mesmerized by the voices and his painting. He snaps out of it and arrives to try and fight Ray. Unfortunately, he ends up escaping and almost hitting Jesse with his car. They go to the police, who offer to protect them from outside their house.

The next day, Jesse is worried that a meeting between him and Leonard might delay him from picking up Zooey at school. When it finally ends, Jesse hurries but to no avail, he punchers a tire and can’t contact Zooey on the phone. He runs to the school but can’t find her. This happens after he had promised on Zooey’s grave that he would be there. At the motel, Ray has Zooey tied up with duct tape. He intends to kill her in the same fashion that he killed many before. He explains that children are the Devil’s candy and that he is unable to prevent what is about to happen.

Will Zooey survive? Can Jesse silence the voices once and for all? Check out the film to find out.

The Devil’s Candy took me by complete surprise. I thought I’d seen it all when it came to horror movies involving Satan but I was wrong. It reminded me of The Amityville Horror in certain aspects but with its own unique spin.

I loved the characters in this film. I found them to be incredibly relatable, being a fan of metal myself. Jesse is a likeable guy that I genuinely rooted for. The dynamic between him and Zooey is very believable thanks to the impeccable performances from both. There are a couple of emotionally charged scenes between the two that are very touching. Also, there are some of truly tense moments that I thought would surely end badly for our characters.

Raymond is a fantastic antagonist. He’s a seriously imposing figure physically; Jesse learns this on more than one occasion. At the same time, he’s like a child mentally so you can’t help but sympathise. You witness him do some horrific things so you want him to be stopped and punished. He’s been battered mentally for decades by the voices; he’s as much a victim as anyone else.

I have to praise the soundtrack of the film. Rock & Metal fans rejoice, you’re in for a treat. The epic finale of The Devil’s Candy might just be the most metal thing that I’ve ever seen in any movie. I never thought I would see a guitar used in such a way but it was badass.

Overall, The Devil’s Candy is truly awesome. It has great characters, a compelling narrative & a well written antagonist. If you’re a fan of horror & metal then this might just be the perfect combination.

The Devil's Candy
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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