Devil's Chair, The (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Andrew Howard, Nadja Brand, David Grant, Polly Brown
Directed by Adam Mason
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
"It's time for something different though. Bring on some good old fashioned monster movies! Hell, bring on anything that doesn't involve listening to some poor fucks scream their heads off for nearly two hours while tied up. Please." That's how I ended my review for Adam Mason's last film, Broken (review here). The good news? Mason delivers on the call for something different. With his latest film, The Devil's Chair, he delivers everything that a movie should while shattering just about every film convention possible. Before we get into all that, though, let's catch up with the premise.
Ever find yourself bored, horny, drugged up, and looking for excitement? That's me almost every night of the week, but that description also applies to our hero(!) Nick West (Howard). In his search for the ultimate thrill-screw, he takes his girlfriend to an abandoned mental asylum for a little sex and acid indulgence. Too bad things go horribly awry from there. Nick awakens the next morning covered in blood, and his girlfriend is not only missing, but she seems to have dropped off of the planet entirely.
The only thing he can remember is seeing her ripped from this universe after sitting on an old chair within the asylum. Of course no one believes him so as punishment he's sent to the local funny farm. A while later the poor bastard is released to the resident shrink who has a plan to cure Nick, or at the very least find out what really happened that night. His treatment of choice? Returning to the site of the crime and spending the night. Ladies and gentleman, get ready to witness the gore-soaked results of one of the worst ideas -- ever!
From top to bottom this flick is stylish, involving, well written, well acted, and dripping with sick. Told completely from West's point of view after-the-fact, Mason not only breaks the fabled fourth wall (and not in a completely pussified way as found in the abysmal Funny Games), he decimates it. The character of Nick West will address you, make you laugh, and most of all incite you as if hoping to cause a riot in your home, all without being the slightest bit pretentious or condescending. As a viewer you will find yourself on equally as insane a ground as the characters do. Quite the feat.
And then there's the sweet, sweet gore. Ah! So red! So free-flowing! *kisses fingers* Magnifique! This nail-biting experience is in no way intended for the squeamish or for those of you out there who may be easily offended. It earns every syllable of the word unrated and does so with a gleeful sense of wild and reckless abandon.
There are only a few small drawbacks that keep this one from attaining a perfect five out of five. The twist(s) are pretty much telegraphed, and the ending, though stained with gallons upon gallons of blood and gore, goes on for just a bit too long. Other than that, we have a true winner here, folks.
Also hitting the proverbial homerun are this disc's special features. While not bountiful, they are very informative and, much like the film itself, extremely well done. Things kick off with a great and brisk commentary by writer/director Adam Mason and writer Simon Boyes which I highly recommend, and from there we get two making-of featurettes that can be watched either separately or as a whole. Clocking in at nearly an hour combined, these behind-the-scenes looks offer everything that they should without ever having that nagging "been there -- done that" feeling set in. Very, very good.
If you're looking for a splatter spewing hell ride that would give even the raunchiest of Tarantino flicks a run for their money, dim the lights, pump up the old 5.1 set-up, and have a seat. The Devil's Chair is a relentless thrill machine that is sure to bring you face to face with some pretty damned dark demons.
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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