The man is being treated for schizophrenia and is the victim of violent hallucinations / flashbacks, with frightening images that on several occasions risk shaking his sanity: a situation that in the last period seems to have worsened and that not even the consultations from the psychiatrist, Dr. Maya, seem to be able to slow down.
Plus the same Mason begins speaking in the void with presumed figures who would hide in the shadows and Joel fears he may have inherited his own condition.
Chance – or rather of forced coincidences – will one day show up at the door a couple of priests, including the elderly Father Lambert, recently released from prison where he served a long sentence for practicing exorcisms not permitted by the Church and causing the death of a woman. He will be the one to inform Joel of how his family has been marked by the devil in person.
At least on paper The devil’s son tries, right from the explanation in the prologue, to offer a more complete approach and media technician to the exorcism theme, with the discourse on the assent by the possessed which will then prove to be fundamental in the final stages of the story.
Too bad that the starting point, hypothetically able to give life to a story rich in nuances and psychological crossroads, is lost in a confusing narrative and related mise-en-scène and lacking a real logical sense, even considering the horrifying context, and that the reference to stereotypes soon becomes a sort of obligation to pick up a script that was derailing towards unknown territories.
The presence of monstrous creatures, real or imaginary, which haunt the protagonist’s house and which initially show themselves only to the flash of a modern Polaroid, appears in fact as a useless and free gimmick, in order to groped an unlikely mix of influences and vary the basic dynamics of a story that progressively gives way to monotony.
Little to save
A couple of ideas, epilogue in the first place, are partially successful but in the film written and directed in 2019 by Pearry Reginald Teo is missing a precise idea and the hour and a half of viewing lacks cohesion, between obvious and inadmissible forcing and characters based on banal stereotypes, starting with the religious couple.
The director from Singapore, active for years in the field of direct-to-video, shows at times original solutions on a stylistic level and the particular works of art created by the protagonist are morbidly fascinating, but a few successful sequences in terms of aesthetic rendering are not enough to remedy the inaccuracies of writing and superb fallacy with which The Devil’s Son poses himself to the viewer.
In fact, it ends up betraying its expectations in an inconclusive cauldron, where the only and sporadic jolts cannot support the creaking foundations right from the premises.
Excessive verbosity further burdens the ensemble, with several dead times to peep out in an already limited amount of time, and the potential psychological and introspective dynamics in the father-son bond fade into the background without a real why, leaving a feeling of disorientation and a missed horror.
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