I love movies that put a lot of time and effort in continuity and their story to make their movie accurate and within reason, even if the subject is fantastical. And then there is ALONG CAME THE DEVIL. While I am usually a fan of possession movies (I grew up with a very Catholic father, so the whole process is fascinating), there is a fine line between well done and just ridiculous. While ALONG CAME THE DEVIL started with such promise, it quickly fell among the ranks of silly.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL was directed by Jason Devan and written by Jason as well as Heather Devan and Dylan Matlock. It stars Sydney Sweeney as Ashley, Madison Lintz as Hannah, Jessica Barth as Tanya, Bruce Davison as Reverend Michael, and Matt Dallas as Pastor John. The story follows Ashley, a young girl when her mother disappeared, that gets left with her sister and abusive father. When her sister leaves for college, she gets taken in by her Aunt Tanya. Not long after she moves back to her home town, weird things start to happen and escalate pretty quickly to less than impressive ending.
While I had several complains with this movie, I have one huge one: what religion are these people!? This movie sent me down a rabbit hole of research. Catholics are the ones with their hands in the exorcism pond, but the church is most definitely NOT a Catholic Church. There’s a band, no place to kneel and not one image of the Virgin Mary; not Catholic friendly at all. So these people are Christian, but not all Christians have exorcisms. I had to cross-reference exorcisms and the use of pastors and reverends to finally come to the determination: these people are Methodist (could be Lutheran but I doubt it). If they try and play it off that these people are Catholic, I will most definitely call BS.
Bypassing that nightmare of continuity, this movie had problems. The intro to the film was weird, telling the story before the story even happened in text. The scenes that could have had the most impact were either too quick to register or happened off-screen while scenes that easily meant nothing were placed front and center. The fact that there is a phone app that can detect anything paranormal with some stupid Doppler effect and my phone can’t even get the flashlight to work right when I was it to is immensely irritating.
Pastor John (aka Pastor Pretty Eyes) is creeping around the town following teens, Reverend Michael is stressing about demons for whatever reason, best friend Hannah wears a lot of black so she must be into the occult, and Ashley seems astonishingly well adjusted for living with a dad that threw her and her sister into a closet so he could get it on in the same room. There are loose ends everywhere.
The ending was completely disappointing (does NOBODY call the cops in this town???) and made zero sense and the entire movie felt like the stage play from a Church summer camp about the dangers of not having your life Jesus-y enough. While Sweeney was phenomenal when she was possessed, the acting for those not filled to the brim with demons was mediocre and at best just okay. It did have one really good quality, however; the use of shadows in this film was wonderful. It started so well, but once the demon was shown, there was nothing left to give to the audience.
I had such high hopes for this movie but it just didn’t make the cut of good possession films, especially because so many scenes were blatantly ripped from The Exorcist (it’s even mentioned in the film). The demon looked like a rip-off of Dave Grohl in Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny and it didn’t even play the drums. It would seem that ALONG CAME THE DEVIL came and went, but if you want to see it yourself, it releases August 10th in theaters, VOD and Digital HD.