Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Credo (aka The Devil's Curse 2008)

Now this is how it's done right, folks. Toni Harman's low-budget supernatural thriller Credo, released in the US as The Devil's Curse, hits home. I watched this flick after watching Seance and was amazed at the contrast between 'em despite many similarities. Filmed on what I assume are comparable budgets with faintly similar plots, Credo is decidedly the better of the two.

Alice (the gorgeous MyAnna Buring) and her friends find themselves homeless after Jock's (Clayton Watson) last party finally irritates the landlord to the point of eviction. With a final exam looming, Alice is desperate enough to accept Jock's offer to house them all for the weekend at an abandoned seminary courtesy of a security guard friend. With tech-geek Scott (Mark Joseph), party girl Jazz (Rhea Bailey) and forlorn Timmy (Nathalie Pownall) in tow, the group settles in to the decrepit digs. Unfortunately for them, this is a home with a past. Specifically, several previous tenants committed suicide after slapdash demon summoning ritual.

I know, sounds uninspired right? Not in the least! Alex Wakeford's script is tight, with characters having depth. The underlying religious subtext adds to the story without beating you over the head. Toni Harman's direction is fast with nary a wasted moment of storytelling. The cast can act and draw the viewer in. The location is subtly unnerving (members of the cast and crew actually thought it haunted) and has a grimy feel that is a bit eerie. Gore is restrained without losing impact.

So, anything fail with Credo? One minor quibble concerns the character of Jock, the lone American among British friends. Clayton Watson plays Jock as a "typical" oversexed Yank with no apparent payoff. I have to wonder if Alex Wakeford wrote Jock as a minor snub as there was no point to his nationality. Oh well, if Watson wants to play American characters he should spend a bit more time with an speech coach.

So, the Toolshed likes Credo and is looking forward to Toni Harman's next horror outing.

Toolshed rating: 8 of 10 dilapidated seminaries

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