For me, horror is evil, and for many, the greatest evil is Satan. Therefore, the number of horror films featuring the devil, demons, or Satan are legion (see what I did there?). Right next to devil movies are witchy tales. I’ve gotten a lot more interested in witch paraphernalia and whatnot over the last couple of years, mostly because it just makes for neat narratives and metaphors. Yesterday was a devil and witch watch, which managed to cancel each other out.
The Devil’s Advocate
My wife and my memories of The Devil’s Advocate were vague but we did seem to recall enjoying it at the time (1997). Unfortunately, we both discovered that what we remember enjoying was the last ten minutes of the movie but getting there took us over two hours. This movie…goddamn…so fucking boring…and bad, just fucking awful. Not only is the story just dull and meandering, but also the acting is vastly underwhelming. If you’d like to read someone who has the complete opposite view of mine, feel free, but know this movie is trash.
This came out the same year as Donnie Brasco and I think we can safely say was the first movie where Al Pacino quit acting and just starting doing a parody of himself. Honestly, the last good Pacino movie was Heat and even that was more than a bit of a flop performance. In this, Pacino is set on autopilot only veering off at the end to blow up in a laughably cartoonish fashion. This is also an early Charlize Theron film (she wouldn’t actually become famous or respected as an actor until 2003’s Monster) where she is clearly wasted yet vastly superior to her cast mates.
After watching Keanu Reeves actually perform well in Constantine, I was reminded of his routinely uneven performances of the early/mid 90s. While the Bill & Ted movies or Point Break might not be well done although entertaining, he did well in flicks like My Own Private Idaho, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (another horror classic that may just get seen again this month), and Johnny Mnemonic. Also, he was just two years out from The Matrix, a film he did very well in with a performance I think many people unfairly write off. But his strained southern accent and superficial script give him nothing to work with here.
There is nothing dangerous, foreboding, or sexy about this devil movie and as such it fails.
As a palate cleanser, we decided to watch The Craft. Fun fact, I will always watch The Craft. I fucking love it, and I do not care what you think about that. A few months ago, the wife and I used this as a jumping off point for a weekend of geek movie fun.
What I love about this movie is it’s completely of the 90s being a great soft horror flick as well as a superb teen movie. The Craft is the perfect counterpart to The Lost Boys.
My just out of high school self was desperately wanted to be friends with and/or date each of these girls. They were exactly the kind of characters I could relate to and envy. But setting aside my own teen fetishes, this is a wonderfully compact teen drama avoiding any extraneous filler while keeping stakes and pace high. All CW producers, writers, and directors need to be locked in a room with this movie on infinite repeat until they learn. They will never learn.
A great teen movie & a fantastic witch tale.