Title – The Devil’s Candy (2015)
Director – Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones)
Cast – Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Kiara Glasco
Plot – After moving his family into a house in rural Texas, artist Jesse Hellman (Embry) starts to experience strange visions and hear demonic noises and starts to question his sanity as he begins to realise his family’s new home may hide some dark secrets.
“If you have the slightest bit of greed in your heart, he will turn it into an avalanche”
Review by Eddie on 31/10/2017
For his second feature film, following on from his little-seen but well regarded Australian horror The Loved Ones in 2009, Tasmanian director Sean Byrne delivers a haunted house film with a difference in his creepy, odd and often unsettling sophomore feature The Devil’s Candy.
Released during festival runs and other territories in 2015, we’ve had to wait extra-long for Devil’s Candy to arrive on our shores but for those local horror hounds that were amongst the many who enjoyed the deliriously depraved and memorable The Loved Ones all the way back in 2009 will be glad to see Byrne has lost none of his inventive filmmaking spirit with Candy.
Saying to much about the films plot would ruin the films intriguing yet brief 80 or so minutes of runtime as Ethan Embry’s struggling heavy metal loving painter Jesse moves his wife and daughter into a new house in rural Texas, only to find the house holds the presence of an evil force that’s amplified by the odd appearance of one of its previous residents, Pruitt Taylor Vince grubby and disturbed Ray Smilie.
Nothing about Candy is typical horror, from the use of heavy metal infused music, editing choices and a particularly well-used axe-guitar, Byrne is having fun messing with usual genre tropes while eliciting out great turns from Embry and Vince as the journey of these two-men, connected by the presence within the property that is anything but a friendly spirit.
Byrne has a blast playing with the usual haunted house/possession playbook rules and his actors are all game, it’s a shame then the film almost appears and disappears too quickly. There’s a feeling there was more that could’ve been built on here and while it’s nice Byrne lets us make up our own backstory as such, more time spent on his characters and building the groundwork of his story would’ve done wonders for a film that intrigues with its originality and set-up but ends up culminating in a fashion that feels like somewhat of a copout for what’s come before it.
Final Say –
A promising and sporadically brilliant sophomore feature from Australian native Byrne with a killer soundtrack, The Devil’s Candy is another fine calling card for the local director and hopefully another stepping stone for him on his way to a genre classic, a feat you can sense is well within his grasp.
3 axe guitar’s out of 5