review by Bobby Blakey
I am always hit and miss on the horror genre when it comes to demon possession. It’s not that they scare me it’s that more often than not they just aren’t that good. That being said there have been some great ones so I always give everyone I come across a try simply for my love of horror. The latest Belzebuth looks to bring their own twist and with the addition to Saw franchise star Tobin Bell I was all in. Could this film deliver the horrific goods fans want or will it fail to possess the audience?
Belzebuth follows Special Agent Emanuel Ritter leads a police investigation into a series of shocking deaths. But after a priest from the Vatican finds a link between the murders and an ancient demon, a descent into horror ensues. I knew nothing other than Bell being in this film going in and with the Saw franchise being one of my all-time favorites I was all in. Sadly he isn’t in the film near as much as I had hoped, but that doesn’t mean this film doesn’t deliver.
There are some issues here, but right out of the gate it lets you know that it is going all in. There are a variety of brutal moments early in the film to set the tone with a warning that most involve children. I know people don’t want to see kids hurt, but I am telling you it is one of the most powerful tools in the horror genre to really pack a punch. I was sucked right in from these sequences and instantly became intrigued to where it was headed.
While I loved the film as a whole, there are some missteps as it gets into the meat of their investigation of these deaths. It tends to get too complicated trying to be more than it needed to be. This isn’t confusing or anything, but it has a simple premise with some interesting twists that didn’t need to try so hard to be something bigger. Often times less is more and I think this film could have been a bit streamlined to more effectiveness. That doesn’t hurt the overall film as I still found it entertaining and think it works quite well just got of drags a bit at times because of it.
The cast all do a good job with star Joaquin Cosio carrying the majority of the film. He is always great and is all in for this role which has a lot of depth and much needed range to work. It the layers and personal connections that make this otherwise generic film really work. They took it to the next level in some of the horrific elements to great effect, but more importantly they make you care about what he has gone through and continues through the whole film.
There are some twists and turns that I found pretty obvious, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still work. This is one of the better films of its kind in some time and I walked away enjoying it. As mentioned before be warned that there are some elements that some might find hard to deal with since it involves kids death, but it is also a big catalyst necessity to the rest of the story. Decide for yourself and grab Belzebuth available now on VOD, Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Shudder and RLJE Films.