Saturday, 21 March 2015



Movie nerds are a tolerant lot, generally. We'll watch pretty much anything by anyone from anywhere, we embrace the niche oddities, we seek out the weird, and we won't be put off by critics telling us it's not any good. But goodwill and tolerance are not inexhaustible and eventually it's time to yell out of the windows that we're mad as hell and we're not going to watch this crap any more. Sooner or later a crisis point is reached and you start to wonder what the hell you're doing with your time.

Devil's Tower is a miserable zero-budget slab of  amateur night tedium in which a handful of deeply hateful people encounter supernatural forces in a tower block. The ghost of a former resident, whose death went unnoticed for four years, takes people over via their TV sets and turns them into zombies for no particular purpose. A newly homeless girl (Roxanne Pallett, for whom this presumably looked like a step upwards from 135 episodes of sex-and-cowshit soap Emmerdale) and an American squatter/burglar (Jason Mewes) team up when Mewes' asshole best friend goes missing; he's far from the first to disappear or die brutally in mysterious circumstances....

In terms of basic professional standards of film-making competence, Devil's Tower is not a film. It's barely a video. Ungraded digital photography gives it the look of a mid-range camcorder production, it's badly written, badly acted, badly directed and badly assembled, everyone onscreen is despicable and the story makes no sense at all. There is absolutely no reason for Jason Mewes to be in it, unless he's been actively seeking a project that's worse than The Watermen. (Mercifully, he doesn't get his ballsack out this time.) It's visually quite ugly - the sex scenes have the look and feel of homemade porn and that's the artistic ambience of the entire enterprise - and if you'd been told this was an afterschool project made by people who'd never seen a camera before, let alone a horror film, it wouldn't surprise you. Certainly I'm struggling with the idea that anyone involved is any kind of professional.

Presumably they are: it's produced by Dominic Burns, who's already got a track record in terrible movies (serving in various capacities on films as wholly without a shred of merit as Strippers Vs Werewolves, Cut and UFO) that have managed to secure UK distribution. And that's the problem: making a movie has never been so easy and cheap, and it's now possible to get any old rubbish released. There isn't even the most rudimentary level of quality control, anyone to say "hang on, guys, this really isn't good enough". Well, why bother when there's enough of an audience out there who'll watch absolutely anything? That the makers clearly assume Devil's Tower is of an acceptable standard for public viewing I frankly find insulting as a horror fan, as a film nerd and as a human being. Go away.


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