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The Independent Critic

David Hayter, Maria Del Mar, Casey Hudecki, Amanda Joy Lim, Samantha Wan
Joseph O'Brien
Rated R
88 Mins.
Phase 4 Films

 "Devil's Mile" a Decent Low-Budget Crime Thriller 
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A weaving together of gritty crime thriller and supernatural horror, writer/director Joseph O'Brien's Devil's Mile follows a trio of kidnappers who take a detour while on the way to deliver their victims, two teenage girls, to their high-powered employer. Unfortunately for our kidnappers, the detour doesn't turn out to be the best choice they've ever made and before long one of the two victims has been accidentally killed and both captors and captives are faced with an even more frightening and deadly force.

Picked up by indie distributor Phase 4 Films for distribution, Devil's Mile is neither as good as it could have been nor as bad as you might be expecting. While the CG effects leave something to be desired, the film's Asian-influenced creature design is inventive and effective. As is often true for ultra-low budget flicks, the lighting is a very hit-and-miss affair with the film's night scenes especially lacking clarity.

There's nothing particularly brilliant about Devil's Mile, but I couldn't deny that by film's end I had enjoyed myself far more than I'd expected. O'Brien's script has fun, especially when the film arrives on the Devil's Mile itself, and for the most part the film's ensemble cast seems well in tune with what O'Brien was going for here.

If I had to name one particular strength for first-time filmmaker O'Brien, it would be in his ability to convey a sense of isolation and dread. While his ambitions in terms of technology don't always live up to his obvious creative vision, a good majority of Devil's Mile creates an atmosphere of suspense, dread, and eerie horror that makes you look forward to O'Brien's next effort when he'll hopefully have a bit more of a budget to work with in terms of creating more convincing special effects.

This Canadian production won't please all fans of indie horror, but for those seeking something just a bit different it's definitely worth checking out.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic