I love movies that put a spin, or at least try to put a spin, on a moviegenre that has been spit out and chewed on so many times. The horror movie genre, definitely has a number of sub categories that have been done way too much. So much in fact, that they usually become predictable. Take for instance the movies about haunted houses. There is some kind of evil ghost or spirit, that has to be put to rest in some way. The ghost appears a few times, puts some scares into us, and in the grand finale it is usually taken care of. Yep, I know, some of these movies can be pretty good, but honestly I think that there have been enough movies about haunted houses to last me a lifetime. The Diabolical that was brought out last year, is also about a haunted house. Yawn….no thank you right? Wrong….this movie truly tries something different, and succeeds, at least for the most part.
Ali Larter plays the role of the single mom Madison. She lives in a house with her young son Jacob and daughter Haley, and tries to keep her head above water. Her husband is gone, and she is in financial trouble. If those were the least of her worries, things would not be so bad. But suddenly strange things start to happen at her house. At night truly terrifying apparitions appear, and it is beginning to look that her house may be haunted. Haley thinks it is the spirit of her father. Madison however, will soon find out that something very different is going on….however it may already be too late when she does.
The Diabolical was made by first time director Alistair Legrand, and I honestly think that he is off to a great start. I really like how this movie puts a fresh spin on the haunted house genre, and truly tries to do things differently. The movie contains one or two bloody scenes, but mostly this is more of a psychological thriller. The acting, especially by the two young children, was done very well. Ali Larter, who most of you will know from the tv series Heroes, also does a more than decent job in her role of the distraught Madison. The only thing in the movie that could have been handled a little better was the ending. There are a few questions answered, but you are also left with a few unanswered ones. But luckily it wasn’t an ending that ruined the entire movie or something like that. All in all I was really surprised by this small movie, and I hope we will get to see more of Alistair Legrand in the future.
I give this movie a 8 out of 10 score.