Sunday, 18 October 2015

"The Diabolical" (Guardian 16/10/15)

The Diabolical ***
Dir: Alistair Legrand. With: Ali Larter, Max Rose, Chloe Perrin, Wilmer Calderon. 86 mins. Cert: 15

Though that title’s asking for trouble, this is, in fact, serviceable sleepover fodder in the post-Insidious mode, with bankrupt single mom Ali Larter finding the wolves at her door are as nothing compared to the suppurating demons crawling through her kitchen at regular intervals. Possessed tumble dryer aside, there’s barely an original idea in it – the big reveal cribs from an established sci-fi touchstone, offering the comparative novelty of a house haunted by the future – but writer-director Alistair Legrand fashions something brisk and modestly atmospheric, resisting the quiet-quite-loud mechanics of recent forays into paranormal activity to dig into the mystery of why this family’s underlit suburban home has become a portal for flesh-ripping spectres: here, Larter – joining Sinister 2’s Shannyn Sossamon among the ranks of millennial postergirls turned worryworn maternal presences – gives a strong and sympathetic performance. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it’ll keep anyone planning a Hallowe’en all-nighter awake and interested.

The Diabolical is now showing in selected cinemas, ahead of its DVD release tomorrow. 

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