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Film Review: The Device (2014)

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SYNOPSIS:

Two sisters go to a family cabin in the woods to spread the ashes of their deceased mother and find a mysterious orb in the woods. What happens next is most disturbing than anything they could imagine.

REVIEW:

Written and directed by Jeremy Berg and starring Angela DiMarco, David S. Hogan, and Kate Alden, The Device tells the story of two estranged sisters who, after the death of their mother, reunite to take her ashes and scatter them into a lake in the woods near a family cabin. A cabin, that they had been warned to stay away from for unknown reasons. As they try to reconnect and deal with their past, Rebecca (Kate Alden), runs off into the woods and discovers what appears to be remains of a strange wreckage. As her sister, Abby (Angela DiMarco), catches up to her, they discover a mysterious, black orb. Collecting the orb, they take it back to the cabin and show it to Abby’s fiancé, Calvin (David S. Hogan) who immediately sees dollar signs.

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Soon Abby starts having nightmares and Rebecca seems to want to leave the cabin immediately. They pack up and go home. Abby receives a phone call from Aunt Linda, irate that they went to the cabin and demanded that she send Rebecca home. Unbeknownst to Abby or Rebecca, Calvin has brought the black orb back from the cabin and is keeping in the basement, trying to unlock the mystery of its strange powers. Once the girls realize this, they beg Calvin to get rid of it, but he’s determined to find a way of making money off of it.

Abby’s nightmares continue and get more lucid and vivid as she believes that there is an alien presence nearby and it seems tied to orb. What the sisters do not realize is that this orb is an actual device not made my any human hands, and its purpose is that of horrible design. As the sisters past begin to unfurl and past trauma brought to light, they realize they must fight not only against the mysterious force of the device, but also against those they never thought would go against them.

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The Device is a surprisingly, thought provoking sci-fi thriller. The plot is quite good, music score is excellent, cinematography spot on, and the acting is mostly believable considering the three main actors are not big Hollywood stars.

While watching this movie, I was thoroughly excited to see an alien movie that focused very little on the aliens and more on the people that were being affected by the events as we watched everything unfold before us. Sure, the nightmares showed enough, but that was almost exclusively when they would be on screen. The story progressed fluidly although I felt like the character of Calvin seemed almost choppy or nearly robotic. I did not get any emotion from him at all. That could be the way the writers wanted him to be, but I would have liked to seen him connect more to Abby, whom he is betrothed.

While we are talking about actors, I would be remiss if I did not praise the acting jobs of Kate Alden and Angele DiMarco. Here we have two gorgeous young women who, I feel, brought a lot of emotion to the roles of Rebecca and Abby, respectively. They acted like sisters, they looked like sisters, and they seemed to share not only a bond but also a resentment due to the past trauma of their lives and when they realize what is happening, they come together to help each other survive. They were definitely the stand out feature of this movie and I would not hesitate to watch them in any other picture.

As far as special effects, while minimal, they were not bad. The aliens were always in a faded fog like appearance which being in a nightmare really worked well. There seemed to be very little need for much in the way of effects but those that were used to also done well. There were a lot of bright lights glaring through doorways or windows, foreboding music also seemed to fit the mood.

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All around I found this movie to be very enjoyable sci-fi thriller as long as you are not looking for a lot of action. This movie is very much story-line based, which I enjoy sometimes more than those that require over use of explosions and body parts flying everywhere. Check this movie out if you are looking for a quiet little title that may sneak under your radar.

5 comments

  1. Sounds like Shawn is either related to the actors, has an existing relationship, or is looking for one. A Sci Fi movie about aliens and very little on the aliens and more on the people that were being affected? Puleeze! That’s why people watch Sci Fi movies like Aliens, Predators, etc. to see the aliens.

    I’ll watch it, but just listening to this review, I don’t give it much hope, which may be yet another reason for such a ramrod review, lower expectations on an otherwise ho-hum movie and be pleasantly surprised of a movie a notch above ho-hum.

     
  2. Every film I have ever watched I believe I’ve criticized in one sense or another. I don’t watch films in the traditional as sitting back and letting it entertain me. The first thing I notice when beginning to watch a movie is the way the Director sets up hi first shot. You know right then and there that you are about to watch something worth While or something that’s about to do a good impression of something worth while. I bout this movie because I am a HUGE SCI-FI fan, that and the cover looked pretty wicked. Sadly nothing on the cover nor on the back credits cover had anything to do with this SAD SORRY piece of film work. I had no sense of location because the director hardly ever used any establishing shots, he never pulled his camera back to show anything. Practically every shot was right up close on the actors. Who’s performances were a train reck or maybe it was just bad casting.

    I’m in the process of writing a number of screenplays, who has never Directed a film in my life, not even a SHORT, yet even I know establishing shots are very very integral to a film no matter how little you want to use them. About half way through this film I got so angry that I decided to throw it in the trash, and that only because I felt fooled by the cover into by something so bad. I’m into COMIC BOOKS, that’s the oldest trick in the book. Cool art on the cover but the art sucks when you open the book.

    If I ever get the opportunity to direct I’ll probably be a legend be I yell my first “ACTION”. Because HOLLYWOOD ain’t really producing nothing but sad films. Even in low budget. I can’t remember the last film that’s made me want to go to the theater.

     
  3. Spend an hour and a half watching the grass grow instead of wasting your time on this. If I had to describe this movie in one word, it would be “tedious.” The entire (predictable) plot could be told in about two minutes. The agonizingly long musical interludes without dialogue did not build suspense, they merely bored. This goes far beyond a lack of action, there isn’t even much activity. It felt like I was wading through molasses watching this; dark, unpleasant and annoying. You wait and wait and then … NOTHING HAPPENS!

     
  4. Sorry to say this movie was is seriously lacking in many ways. The entire reason for producing an alien movie is the interaction or involvement of the aliens.A partial “faded” shot of the beings …sad.
    I agree with Metazip that the writer Shawn must either be related to the producers or just a suck up.wannabe.The plot is a great idea but this film was a huge disappointment.

     
  5. I watched this movie a couple of days ago . . . . it was not entirely unenjoyable, however, I have two gripes . . . . it could be I fell asleep for five minutes and missed something, at one pint in the movie Abby hurls the sphere into the lake . . . later in the film her husband demands she brings the sphere to him, which she does! . . . . . my second gripe concerns the DVD cover picture, on the strength of which I purchased the movie . . . . a fairly explicit and intriguing picture, but at no time during the movie is the situation portrayed in the cover picture seen . . . or did I really fall asleep!

     

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