The Devil’s Well (2018) Movie Review - Found Footage Suggested by Reddit

Horror, Found Footage | 88 Min
Cover from found footage horror movie the Devil's Well (2018)
  • Director: Kurtis Spieler
  • Actors: Bryan Manley Davis, Kristen Seavey, Chris Viemeister, Lauren Sowa, Kurtis Spieler
  • Writers: Kurtis Spieler
  • Producers: Kurtis Spieler, Nicholas Papazoglou
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Peril, Language
  • Horror, Found Footage | 88 Min

Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband. A year after her disappearance a group of paranormal investigators attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance.

Welcome to Knockout Horror and to a new feature I am planning to do over the next month or so – Found Footage Suggested by Reddit. Today we are reviewing 2018 found footage horror movie The Devil’s Well.

Reddit has a pretty active Found Footage community and new suggestions appear on there every day. Being that I am a pretty old school found footage horror fan, I have watched most of these films already. Regardless, I figured it would be fun to check some of these titles out and review them. 

Today’s Movie – The Devil’s Well

This one was suggested by a user who seemingly enjoyed it. Finding it to offer “genuine creepy scares” and appreciating the Mockumentary style. I’m a big fan of mockumentaries so this one seemed like a no brainer. Added to that the fact that I haven’t actually watched The Devil’s Well before, I was sold.

Screenshot from found footage horror movie the Devil's Well (2018)

The Devil’s Well follows the story of a group of paranormal investigators conducting an investigation into the disappearance of a woman named Karla (Anne-Marie Mueschke). Karla, also a fan of the spooky and mysterious, disappeared while visiting a location with her husband (Bryan Manley Davis <- great name by the way) that was supposedly a portal to hell. Believing that there is more to the case than meets the eye, the group head to the location to take a look.

Very Derivative

Mockumentaries always give off something of a familiar vibe. I mean, let’s be honest, there are only so many ways that you can approach this type of movie. The thing that stands out with The Devil’s Well, however, is just how similar it is to the much more well known paranormal found footage movie Grave Encounters

The format feels almost copy and paste. We have a mysterious disappearance, a paranormal investigation team, numerous cameras placed to capture spooky goings on, night vision, a graffiti plagued location and a shock end. The Devil’s Well does absolutely nothing at all new. 

Screenshot from found footage horror movie the Devil's Well (2018)

This is a derivative movie even by found footage standards. Even some of the shots felt like one for one copies of shots from Grave Encounters. I understand paying homage but this is taking the piss. I can’t, honestly, in good conscience say that The Devil’s Well, and writer director , has a single new thing to add to the genre outside of the location’s history. A history the movie never really focuses on.

Yawnsome 

The Devil’s Well is a movie of two halves. Well, a third and two thirds, I guess. Things open with a fairly interesting and well acted mockumentary style collection of interviews explaining the disappearance of Karla. Only for the movie to transform into a fully fledged found footage horror replete with all the negative trappings of the style. Poor camera work, dodgy lighting, mixed acting and awkward dialogue.

Screenshot from found footage horror movie the Devil's Well (2018)

It is a little bit jarring in as much as the two disparate parts are of a starkly different quality. I quite enjoyed the interviews. I wouldn’t put them on the level of Lake Mungo’s but acting was solid and the subject matter was treated with gravity and seriousness. The second half just felt like formulaic found footage horror fodder with very little to cling on to.

The plot is extremely dull. Very little happens for much of the movie. There is little reason to watch the background and many of the character interactions feel unnatural and stilted. The only time the characters feel like real people is when they are simply reacting to what they see outside of the script. It is boring stuff and does virtually nothing to hold the viewer’s attention.

All Leads to Disappointment 

The biggest problem, however, might be just how disappointing the end of the movie is. The Devil’s Well runs far too long for this type of horror at a taxing 88 minutes. Even when the credits roll you still have characters chatting away. By this point, I imagine, the majority of horror fans will be more than a little checked out by just how underwhelming the ending was.

It’s a lot of build up for very little pay off. It’s difficult not to feel a little short changed at just how uninventive it is. Though the entire movie is derivative and lacking innovation so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

Screenshot from found footage horror movie the Devil's Well (2018)

On the plus side, the first half of the movie is fairly solid. Camera work is okay for the most part. Acting can be decent at times and there are no ridiculously obnoxious characters. Undemanding viewers will probably tolerate the overly familiar, and rather boring, plot a lot more than horror vets. And I quite enjoyed the moments where the actors were allowed to just improvise. With that being said, however, this is one to skip unless you are desperate for some found footage paranormal shenanigans and aren’t too fussed on quality.

Should You Watch The Devil’s Well?

If you aren’t a fan of found footage horror then there is absolutely nothing that The Devil’s Well will do to change your mind so it is an easy skip. If you are a found footage fan; whether you should watch depends on your tolerance for dull paranormal movies with disappointing endings. For example, If you don’t mind derivative movies, give it a go. If you are a fan of Grave Encounters and its copycats then you might find something to like. Otherwise, just give this one a miss. I should mention that many of the posters on the Reddit thread did enjoy it so your milage may vary. It’s free on YouTube so give it a search.

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