Devils Familiar (2020)

Director: Kieran Edwards
Starring: David Clarke, Uriel Davies, Kieran Edwards .UK. 1h

This creepy found footage movie is more homemade than handmade, but delivers an interesting investigation but does it bring anything new to the genre?

Opening with a Birdemic grade intro after a camera lands on the doormat of the local police station the film is put together and replayed for the officers.

A couple of Uni hopefuls, Elliott Mooney (student number 06852105) and Jake Mcintyre (student number 05437921) to be precise, are making a documentary about a terrible crime that happened near their university, back in 2006, a man was found brutally murdered, another man “disappeared” in a case known as the Ribbesford Woods Murders. Sally Edwards was sent down for the murder but over the years a local legend has sprung up about wild beast stalking the forest. With a feverish interest and tons of energy the duo rush to start filming footage for their final degree piece.

There’s a lot of warming up in Kieran Edwards’s little film which comes in at just under the hour, 1 hour with credits. The guys do a lot of thorough research, going through press cuttings, conducting interviews, and even managing to capture some time with the convicted killer, Sally Edwards herself who details that she was also attacked by the beast but while running for her life, is she the one who got away or just batshit crazy?

There’s a lot of positives in how the film has been produced and set out, it’s interesting to see how dedicated Edwards has been in keeping things consistent, people shouting “cut” and taking in the scenery while keeping the lense active look good but I think it’s overdone, when conducting an interview you’d expect the camera to be stationary for a second or two, instead it’s forever bobbing and weaving around to the point where it seems excessive and unnecessary.

Eventually the crew team up with a few more interested persons and head into the woods and this turns out to be the worst idea but it results in their best find of the investigation.

There’s nothing new about running around the woods with a camera to make a found footage movie. It’s been done with Witches, Serial Killers, BigFoot and all sorts of monsters and critters, however there’s no reason to pan this low budget effort. I have to admit I was thrilled to see a Black lead actor, something I champion for cinema all the time, and Uriel Davies really steps up to the mark with his larger than personality with tons of energy, but the movie does have a few let downs with it’s special effects and presentation, however it’s a champion b movie effort, with a little refining, hopefully Kieran Edwards will come back stronger next time.

 

Rating: 3/10

Related: Death of a Vlogger (2020), Blair Witch (1999), Webcast (2018)
Lists: My Favourite Found Footage to Date, A-Z of Found Footage
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