Conceived Too Soon In “Devil’s Due”

AFTER ZACH and Sam’s emotional wedding ceremony, they take off for a honeymoon in the stunning coastlines of Dominican Republic. From the stunning sceneries, their honeymoon suddenly takes a bizarre turn after an encounter with a psychic who warns them that “he has been waiting.”

Much to their surprise, after a night of copious quantities of alcohol, the newlyweds wake up with nary a memory of their honeymoon’s first night.

Upon returning home, Sam (played by Allison Miller) finds out that she is pregnant. Despite the surprising news, Zach (played by Zach Gilford) announces to family and friends that they are expecting their first child…unknown to all, it will be a nightmare that they have to endure since it will be the “Devil’s Due.”

“Devil’s Due” is directed by a quartet of young filmmakers known as Radio Silence who rose to fame via their films posted on YouTube. The film takes us to a series of head-spinning moments that Zach and Sam goes through dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.  Soon, however, disturbing clues emerge that their situation is anything but normal:  an ultrasound exam and amniocentesis take a troubling turn; on a grocery shopping expedition, Sam, a vegetarian, crams raw, bloody meat into her mouth; in a shopping mall parking lot, she cracks the rear window of a car with a strength and ferocity that doesn’t seem possible for a woman several months pregnant; and her belly seems to stretch and contort, as if the baby is pushing from the inside with extreme force.

Then, there’s a cabal of shadowy figures who begin spying on the couple from hidden cameras – as a malevolent spirit waits to be born unto the world. A film about a woman impregnated with… something powerful and evil, and dealing with the horrific consequences, has obvious narrative and thematic similarities to the classic horror film Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Roman Polanski.  Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, two of the directors of “Devil’s Due”, note that they don’t shy away from comparisons to the 1967 film. “Rosemary’s Baby comes up a lot when people see the trailer for DEVIL’S DUE, and it’s not something were afraid of,” says the latter. “We’re all huge fans of that film.  We knew when we read [Lindsay Devlin’s] script that there was an opportunity to borrow from it in a smart way, but more importantly, tell a more contemporary and accessible story.”

“Devil’s Due” was filmed on location in the Dominican Republic, at Carnivale and various other sites, including a nightclub in a ruined catacomb, where Zach and Sam spend the fateful final night of their honeymoon. The production then moved to New Orleans, where most of principal photography took place.

Radio Silence embraced the typical scheduling constrains that befall some genre fare shot with “guerilla-style” filmmaking. “We felt like we had an abundance of time and money, just based on the films we’ve made in the past,” says Gillett. “The biggest challenge was getting people on board for how we wanted to make the movie. That becomes as much a part of the creative process as actually filming DEVIL’S DUE. For example, we didn’t need four hours to shoot a given scene because we didn’t shoot coverage conventionally. We don’t need to light things in a typical way because we’re trying to create realism.  e wanted to get everyone on board with the experiment of jumping in and lighting to shoot 360-degrees and really let the actors discover the scene.

“Devil’s Due” opens March 19 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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