The Devil’s Candy Review

The Devil’s Candy is a 2015 horror movie written and directed by Sean Byrne about a family that moves into a new home where the previous tenants were involved in a horrific tragedy.

The Devil’s Candy is one I have been seeing on a lot on many horror critic’s best of list and I was very interested in watching it based solely on the reviews I read. It’s premise, where a father begins hearing strange demonic voices that puts the lives of his family in danger, seemed like a retread of other demon possession and haunted house movies, but I still wanted to give it a shot. My results are not as positive as those of my peers.

RELATED: Listen to the Cinema Recall Podcast about The Devil’s Candy

In the prologue we meet Raymond Smile (Pruitt Taylor Vince), an older man who is playing guitar to avoid hearing the voices of Satan in his head. After his mother makes him unplug it. The voices get stronger and he kills her. The following year the house is sold to a struggling painter Jessie Hellman (Ethan Embry) and his family. While trying to finish a project, Jessie begins to hear the same voices as Raymond and he begins painting horrific satanic imagery, some that even show his daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) being burned alive. As the voices grow more stronger, Jessie becomes more detached from his family. Meanwhile, Ray who has been giving into the voices, begins killing young kids to appease his master.

This is where the story lost me. Why wasn’t Ray begin monitored constantly? Way before anything happened to his mother, it is clear that he is not a well-adjusted individual. After the death of his mother, I never understood why he was allowed to roam as free as he did. Even if it was deemed as an accident, I feel that there should have been much more suspicion on his part. Especially when he is seen buying cans of gasoline and a lighter at a store. I get that he is the one who wants to help this family, which explains why he wants Zooey to have his guitar, but the explanation of the death of the mother being just an accident and that’s why he was never convicted or even questioned, never sat well with me.

The story of the father being isolated while ignoring his family has been done several times before. It does take a slightly different approach with its ending unlike other movies about possession, but the rest is paint by numbers  storytelling. I would rather have the daughter be the main character and have her find out that she is the devil’s candy. For me it has a bit more weight than what is shown.

Director Sean Byrne is known to horror fans after directing the movie The Loved Ones. While I liked the performances from the cast in that one, I wasn’t a fan of the story and that’s how I feel about The Devil’s Candy. The cast is fine, and there are some good performances from Pruitt Taylor Vince and Ethan Embry. I just didn’t find any of the story engaging. While it may have moments that are shocking. The rest of it is rather quite bland.

The Devil’s Candy Review

Movie description: THE DEVIL'S CANDY is a 2015 horror movie written and directed by Sean Byrne about a family that moves into a new home where the previous tenants were involved in a horrific tragedy.

Director(s): Sean Byrne

Actor(s): Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince

Genre: Horror

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