Cinema Clips: The Devil’s Candy

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Writer-director Sean Byrne follows up his very good horror debut, 2012’s The Loved Ones, with this piece of heavy metal nastiness.

Jesse (an unrecognizable Ethan Embry), a starving artist, and wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) are moving into a new house with daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco). Shortly before buying that house for a dirt-cheap price, they find out that the couple that lived there before died in some sort of accident.

After moving in, a super creepy guy (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and former inhabitant of the house shows up on the doorstep looking to move back in. Naturally, Jesse says no and, naturally, creepy guy doesn’t stop. Byrne sets his story to heavy metal music, with Jesse’s family being devout followers of Metallica, and Vance’s creepy guy needing to play metal at night on his guitar to drown out the voice of the devil.

If devil movies give you the heebie jeebies (like, for instance, last year’s The Witch), you will probably find plenty to like in this one. Byrne is proving to be quite capable of cinematic freak-outs, and he has able partners in Embry and Vince. Place Mr. Byrne along the names of Ti West, Robert Eggers and Ted Geoghegan when making a list of current horror directors to watch.

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