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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 9.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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An unwitting newlywed births Satan's spawn in Devil's Due
Baby Beelzebub
on
Contractions from hell.

There are many lessons to be learned from Devil's Due, Hollywood's newest she's-having-Satan's-baby flick. Don't let taxi drivers take you someplace mysterious to celebrate the last night of your honeymoon. When you wake up the next morning with no memory of what happened, don't forget to check your camcorder, in case you left it running all night. And if you're going to do a found-footage movie, be sure it makes at least a little sense.

A found-footage movie is supposed to be an artifact of the world it's set in. When the "found footage" consists of material edited together from multiple sources in ways that fail all plausibility tests, something is very wrong.

I can buy that young newlywed Samantha McCall (Allison Miller) gets knocked up in a crazy candlelit rite in a Santo Domingo nightclub. But who assembled the footage of this event? It can't be her husband, Zach (Zach Gilford). We see police-interview video of a blood-drenched Zach being asked to explain what happened to him and his wife. He can't, because what cop or lawyer would believe that Satan did it? Plus, huge chunks of the film are from cameras Satan's minions put in the McCall house. Perhaps the minions did some editing, but why? It's not in their best interest to assemble evidence of their plan to make demon babies.

I had plenty of time to contemplate all this because Devil's Due contains so many boring home movies of a nice but bland couple in a Pottery Barn-style McMansion. When something devilish finally happens, it's in the form of clichéd pranks you've seen in every other Prince of Darkness movie.

You'd think Satan would have learned how to be subtle by now. If he doesn't want people figuring out his tricks, he has to keep a lower profile. That wouldn't make for an engaging movie, but frankly, neither do these stale found-footage conventions.

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