The Devil in White
- 1h 53m
A cult of revolutionaries plot to murder the president of a pharmaceutical conglomerate.A cult of revolutionaries plot to murder the president of a pharmaceutical conglomerate.A cult of revolutionaries plot to murder the president of a pharmaceutical conglomerate.
THE DEVIL IN WHITE also stands as what is probably the best post-SCARLET WORM (Michael Fredianelli's masterpiece) Fredianelli directed film so far. While the others were (for the most part) much more ambitious and dealing in genre and subject matter I tend to prefer, there was just something off about them and it seemed hard not to notice their faults. THE DEVIL IN WHITE is different. It's not a perfect film sure, but it's a very technically sound movie and pretty believable in the effects, storytelling, and performances.
While the movie is a bit of a slow burn, it opens strong (great pre-title and title sequences) and remains constantly gripping until the end. The film seemingly toys with the audience a bit as it doesn't really have a standard protagonist the way most stories do. It's a bit like Hitchcock's PSYCHO in this regard. You can't really be sure who the protagonist is at first and it makes for a thrilling ride. Surprises are abound and it's a very gripping and suspense filled movie.
While not every performance is top-notch, one of THE DEVIL IN WHITE's best assets is how well acted it is. Jeremy Koerner is a powerhouse as the evil cult leader Archie. While acting under Fredianelli's direction in two films prior, this is the film where Koerner is really utilized and able to shine the most. Koerner is infinitely menacing as Archie and gives a very creepy and believable performance. Other stand-out cast members include Vanessa Leigh (in a somewhat smaller role but performing great as always), Wild Dogs regular Michael Nosé (in what is probably his finest acting turn), and Peter Stylianos (in a small part again, but still making an impression). Beth Bemis (while I didn't enjoy her performance as much as the others) is also very memorable in her role as middle-aged mother Piper-- a character and role uncommon for a Wild Dogs Production (or at least with this type of treatment and amount of screen-time given).
Another major strong-point are the film's visual effects by Michael A. Martinez. Martinez returns from somewhat of an absence from Wild Dogs and boy does it make a difference. All the VFX on display in the film are convincing and hardly even appear digital (or obviously faked) if at all. The film isn't really an action or effects heavy piece per say, but the seamless nature of the movie's VFX really sells it. On that note, it's important to say that this is a high-impact and affecting horror film, but it's not full of explicit violence and gore to the extent a lot of others are. While Director Fredianelli really has a talent for filming the shocking and explicit, he also knows how to be just as effective for what he doesn't show when it comes to horror. As in his earlier horror movie THE BLACKFACE KILLER, this balance is on full display here.
In sum, THE DEVIL IN WHITE is at the top of its game as far as indie horror goes. It works well within the confines of a low-budget and doesn't overreach its bounds. It also seems to bring something relatively fresh to the table and doesn't feel like more of the same. And hell, David Cronenberg would be proud.
- Feb 3, 2014