Not a Tourist Destination – Devil’s Gate (2017)

When watching Devil’s Gate, most will feel that it is nothing more than an extended episode of The X-Files and it very well could have been what with the plot and story being something like those featured on the show, right down to the two law enforcement officers, though only one from the FBI and the other being a cop. As familiar as it immediately seems to be, it still manages to do its own thing and even features Jonathan Frakes – the one and only Commander Riker from Star Trek, in a minor role as a small town sheriff.

Starring Amanda Schull in the lead as the FBI detective, she arrives in the middle of nowhere, looking into the case of a missing woman and her son. She meets a bit of resistance right off the hop, the local police not liking those from the federal level interfering in matters that they themselves have already looked into. Be that as it may, she does not let that stop her and with the help of Shawn Ashmore who plays one of the resident cops, they soon come to the truth and it is one that involves something from literally out of this world.

From the very outset of the movie, director Clay Staub and cinematographer Mirosław Baszak fill the picture with a pervasive sense of dread. Beginning with the opening shot of a man’s car breaking down to that of the run down house in his rearview mirror to the cold grey skies that are ever-present when Agent Francis arrives in Devil’s Gate, there is a sense of foreboding about it all and it never lets up until the final scene in the film. That eeriness is what sets this movie apart from others in the genre and from that aforementioned television show as it manages to dig its way into the viewer’s subconscious, resting there almost like a depression and it lends a bit of gravitas to the atmospheric surroundings that the lead characters find themselves in. Ashmore and Schull do a good job with the material and with the added Milo Ventimiglia as the very paranoid and possibly guilty perpetrator in the disappearance of his wife and son, the movie does not lack for talent. Factor in the horror from what Ventimiglia keeps in his basement to the supernatural vibes given off by the extraterrestrial menace and the film does not lack when it comes to making an impression upon the audience.

With some great special effects when it came to the creatures of the film and a decent storyline made all the better by the performances, the music and the solid direction, Devil’s Gate may not really deliver anything new when it comes to horror or science-fiction, but it never fails to entertain and keep one hooked until that very last act.

3.5 out of 5

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