The Devil Lives Here – original title: O Diabo Mora Aqui – is a 2015 Brazilian supernatural horror film directed by Dante Vescio and Rodrigo Gasparini (the duo also made the short M is for Mailbox) from a screenplay co-written by Guilherme Aranha, Rafael Baliú and M.M. Izidoro. The movie stars Pedro Carvalho, Ivo Müller and Sidney Santiago.
Three teenagers go visit a friend at his old farmhouse for the weekend. What they didn’t expect was to be stuck in the middle of a centenary war between good and evil…
Every so often, a film can give the viewer a sinking feeling from the get-go, and usually – depressingly – that film doesn’t get any better as it goes on. So it was with The Devil Lives Here, a quite extraordinarily awful Brazilian movie that would have Coffin Joe spinning in his grave.
A scene-setting and ineffectual prologue aside, the plot proper kicks off with a bunch of irritatingly shallow young people driving out to a remote house for a weekend of predictably dull partying, and… no, stop there. Is there any other low budget horror film premise so utterly and creatively done to death as this? It’s reached the point where I groan out loud as a storyline introduces a car load of thinly drawn characters that the makers seem to think we’ll empathise with – especially in films where the lack of ideas ensures that these characters will hang around like a bad smell long after they should’ve been offed by the monster.
The house they are staying in is the former residence of a slave owner renowned for his cruel treatment of slaves (as opposed to those other, human rights-respecting slave owners, I guess), and one of the youths wants to revive his dead child, while another seems haunted by mysterious voices. Maybe everyone hears the voices – the film is rather vague on the subject. Some gangster types show up to stop him and things get very confusing – nothing much happening but lots of shouting.
Perhaps all this made sense in the heads of the three people responsible for story, screenplay and ‘creation’, but the two directors – Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio – are unable to translate it coherently to the screen. Eventually, with twenty minutes of the film left, the undead slave owner is revived in order to wreak bland havoc.
Incoherent, packed with meaningless flashbacks, populated by characters so badly drawn that one of them vanished for ages without me even noticing and shot in a style that assumes murkiness equals atmosphere, The Devil Lives Here – also known as The Fostering, in case anyone tries to palm it off on you under that title – is depressingly awful. Avoid it.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA
“For a debut feature film, O Diabo Mora Aqui demonstrates Gasparini and Vescio’s skills in direction and presentation. With a modest budget and quick shooting schedule, there were production restrictions from the start. Restrictions aside, the pair have a strong grasp on what makes a film look good and they made the most of what they had available to them.” Screen Anarchy
” …the best way to imagine the arcane aesthetics of The Devil Lives Here is to picture a film created by Sam Raimi and Dario Argento working in tandem. Sound insane? Well it is and amazingly the style gels into something loaded with mounting tension, ancient rituals, and visual flair for miles.” The Outre Eye
“The first half, although badly paced when looking at the overall finished product, has a sun-drenched atmosphere of dread and intriguing visuals that really work. The direction is unshowy but fresh, and the ideas and performances at play really work. But when all this is just build up to a messy, incoherent and badly lit finale where everything is muddled…” UK Horror Scene
“We all know that horror is overwhelmingly acknowledged as “universal”, so despite the fact that Gasparini’s film is in Portugese with English subtitles, the visuals and the frights will translate into a fun and terrifying ride for anyone willing to get on board – no matter where you’re from or what language you speak.” Horrorfreak News
“If you are after horror you will find it with The Devil Lives Here, and you will find a great antagonist thanks to Muller, and great special effects. I found that the later half was a bit too confusing for me to properly follow which did affect my enjoyment but the directing throughout is good stuff.” The Rotting Zombie
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
“ …the tightly-woven story is expertly and efficiently told, leaking its secrets gradually as it builds and builds to its frenzied finale. Part period horror, part morality tale and part rural shocker, The Fostering is an impressive entry in the new wave of South American terror, and as pure a horror film as you could hope to see.” Scream
“Directors Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio give us a movie where the acting is near perfect and the screenplay keeps us on the edge of our seats. The film is rooted in Brazilian folklore, which gives it a very individualistic quality. It is visually beautiful to watch and is filled with atmosphere. The gradual build-up might test patience but overall this is more than a film, it is an experience.” Amos Lassen
Cast and characters:
Pedro Caetano … Sebastião
Pedro Carvalho … Apolo
Mariana Cortines … Alexandra
Felipe Frazão … Luciano
Diego Goullart … Jorge
Ivo Müller … Barão do Mel
Sidney Santiago … Bento
Clara Verdier … Maria Augusta
The film was released on DVD in the UK on 15 August 2016 by Matchbox Films as The Fostering.