Review: Devoured (2012)

Although Devoured shows early promise and certainly has some nice touches it just never really takes off.

A psychological horror from director Greg Olliver Devoured is a good looking film from the outset. Its distinctive visual style lends the opening a pretty decent atmosphere, with the eerie sense of isolation felt by the lead character shared by the audience. Olliver shoots well throughout and has some nice visual flourishes up his sleeve, the close-up shots of food being prepared stand out well and these certainly send a few shivers up the spine.

Unfortunately the script falls way short of the visuals, although the film is a slow burn to begin with it does however have a genuinely intriguing set up that shows promise. It’s just a shame that the film doesn’t really go anywhere, worse than that nothing really happens for the vast majority of the running time. Once we establish that the lead character lives a pretty crappy life and is mis-treated by those around her, this is just hammered home time and time again. It leaves the audience with the bare bones of a narrative and very little storyline to engage with.

The audio design however is worthy of mention, it’s a very sparse film in terms of dialogue and this works well for the genre. Though Olliver isn’t an accomplished enough visual storyteller (yet) to cover for the lacking dialogue it’s not a terrible effort.

Kudos to the cast though who are decent throughout, especially Marta Milans in the lead role, it’s just a letdown that the film isn’t as engaging as her central performance. Although she definitely makes it all the more watchable and should be destined for bigger things.

Things pick a little towards the end and the film ends with more of a bang than a whimper and a decent enough pay off. But these highlights come too late to save an otherwise dull film, which is disappointing because there could have been a thoroughly creepy little horror here.

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