Friday, 1 July 2011

The Devil's Chair review

Have you ever bought a movie because it was £2 in the bargain bin at ASDA, put it on your video shelf and then left it there for 6 months before actually watching it?  Well this is how I came across The Devil's chair.

Fun fact, the pre-production was only two weeks, 3 days of which they spent writing the script.


Warning thar be spoilers in this review








"Hi there. I'm Nick West. I'm medicated, how are you?" 

Sometimes you watch a movie because you are in the mood for a comedy or because you want to sing along badly to a musical or just because you feel like watching a movie.  Whatever the reason, people often say that watching a movie is an experience.  Well let me assure you, watching The Devil's Chair is an experience.

It's a British horror film, which premièred at  Cannes in 2007.  It's 90 minutes long and was released to mixed reviews.  The main star is Andrew Howard playing Nick West, he's best known for playing the Sheriff in the remake of I Spit on your Grave.

Our 'hero' is a patient from a mental institution, incarcerated for brutally murdering his girlfriend in an abandoned asylum. There is of course, actually a twist, Nick took his girlfriend Sammy to the asylum with the intent of doing some drugs and having a bit of the how's your father, but while they were there, they found a scary looking chair which Nick persuades Sammy to sit in 'for a laugh'. 

The chair turns out to be evil and kills Sammy in a bloody and violent manner, with Nick getting the blame and being shipped off to the loony ward.

Nick is brought back to the asylum with some amateur film makers shooting a documentary and the doctors from the mental institution.  He has finally accepted that he must have been deluded about the chair and killed his girlfriend so the final stages of his therapy are to confront the chair with the film makers shooting it.  The agreement being that this will mean Nick can start working his way towards freedom.

Well, shenanigans happen and one by one everyone is dragged by the chair into a nightmarish version of the asylum and it's up to Nick to start killing the ghoulies and monsters which are attacking everyone and everything.

Spoilers below!

Right now, you're probably thinking this is all pretty standard horror movie stuff and you'd be right, I had seen a few bad reviews for the film and could not help but think that they were being over harsh, the movie was pretty standard for a supernatural horror, good acting, relatively believable dialogue, decent effects.  

So the movie starts drawing into the climax and Nick and the female doctor decide that this is the perfect time to get in a bit of the rough stuff because they've to figure out how on earth to escape the nightmare asylum.  Then as the camera pans out, it starts to move through the real asylum and we begin seeing bodies to what possibly could be the greatest voice over in horror film history.

"As you can see it all got a bit silly right here. A girl with her puppies out, a demon, old banana over there in his pajamas. Is this what I promised you? Are we prick teasing you enough? Is this what you came here to see all my brothers? Look at this poorly written, badly acted bullshit! Is there any truth in this b-movie banality? No! No, there is no truth. Believe no one. Believe nothing. You freaks and geeks. You bloodthirsty morons, fuck you! Bring on the red parade. So are there any pulses in the house? You deadbeat, midnight, freak-geek witted torture-porn gore horse! I know what you're looking for, so have it! Take it! and fuck you all very much! Did you ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Aaaand just as Nick finishes chewing you out for getting off on horror movies, it's revealed that the good lady doctor is laying on the floor, bloody, beaten and whimpering as Nick violently rapes her, surrounding them are the corpses of everyone else whom it's made pretty obvious, that Nick has killed.

Once Nick finishes up and kills the doctor, he walks out of the asylum and gets into a van where he is greeted by his girlfriend who applauds his escape, they start to kiss and it's revealed that Nick is just tonguing the air (which is pretty funny) and then drives off into the sunset.  End of Film.
Even though I've described it here, watching all this go down is a pretty fun experience, the film makers clearly knew they weren't going to be making the next greatest horror film so they decided to just fuck with the audience.  

I give this movie a 6 out of 10, while I enjoyed it and thought it was pretty decently acted, it gets cliché in quite a few places and if it wasn't for the ending it'd just be another bargain bin, pound shop horror movie not even worth mentioning to your friends or keeping in the 'good' section of your dvd collection.  It's be hidden in the back or in the cupboard somewhere along with your theory test CD's and the ps2 games you don't play anymore since you got that xbox 360.


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