I Trapped the Devil (2019)

I Trapped the Devil
Director: Josh Lobo
Writer: Josh Lobo
Cast: Scott Poythress, AJ Bowen, Susan Burke, Rowan Russell, John Marrott, Jocelin Donahue, Jocelin Donahue
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2019

Matt (AJ Bowen) and his wife Karen (Susan Burke) decide to drop in on Matt’s brother Steve (Scott Poythress) around the Christmas holidays. Matt and Steve don’t have much contact, and Matt is worried about him, so they just show up unannounced. They find that Steve has a prisoner in his basement – a prisoner he claims to be the devil himself. Matt and Karen are horrified, but they also find the behavior of the prisoner strange. Maybe there is something to Steve’s theory and explanation after all?

I Trapped the Devil has a good idea, but the execution just didn’t work for me at all. It was tedious and the sound design was just bad.

The film poster showing a red door in front of black background with a man tied to a chair sitting in front of it.

Despite of the fact that the film started at 11pm, I swear I wasn’t tired when it began. But within 20 minutes, it had entirely worn me down and it started to feel absolutely suffocating. I did fall asleep for a bit, and my theory is that this was pure and automatic self-defense because the film was so exhausting.

I think, the film’s biggest issue really was the sound design. I’m usually not the most sensitive in that area and I don’t necessarily mind when things get loud, but here I had to actually, physically cover my ears in the first few minutes already – and things went downhill from there. It was uncomfortable and taxing, but not in a way where that enhanced the storytelling, but just in a way that I wanted to run away.

Matt (AJ Bowen) and Karen (Susan Burke) sitting next to each other, looking worried.

In the end the film makes the grave mistake of showing us the prisoner and they really shouldn’t have. No matter what or who they show, it could only have been disappointing – and it was.

Unfortunately, apart from the idea, the decent cast and the overbearing sound, there really isn’t much to the film at all. So I was pretty glad in the end that I slept through at least some of it.

Steve (Scott Poythress) and Matt (AJ Bowen) taling in front of a conspiracy theory wall.

Summarizing: leave it.

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