The filmmakers behind Devil’s Due will always be the first to admit that Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic Rosemary’s Baby inspired their film, a found-footage horror movie about a young newlywed who has the misfortune of being impregnated with a satanic being.
“We wanted to own it from the start. We didn’t want to pretend that it wasn’t that and hide it and make you wait. The scene where she gets impregnated is about 15 minutes into the movie,” said Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who co-directed the film with his Radio Silence collective and V/H/S directing team Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, and Chad Villella. She might not realize what’s going on, but the audience is never left in the dark.
“It was a really fun thing to watch Rosemary’s Baby and then get to borrow things that felt right for this version,” added Gillett.
Starring Zach Gilford, of Friday Night Lights fame, and Allison Miller as the unlucky couple, Fox previewed clips from the film at an event in December, with cult horror master Eli Roth in tow to champion the project. “I have no involvement in the movie whatsoever, but Fox was cool enough to show the movie to me and I absolutely was floored. I loved it,” Roth told the audience, citing how filmmakers like Peter Jackson and Quentin Tarantino’s support was indispensable to him early in his film career. “It’s so helpful when a filmmaker comes out and just says, ‘You guys should watch this movie. Take a look.’ This is one that’s worth supporting.”
In Devil’s Due, you meet the couple just after they get married. The found-footage presentation is explained by their desire to capture their lives together on film for their child. “The style of the film also allows you to be involved in the relationship of the film in a really intimate and almost voyeuristic way,” said Gillett. “You’re not allowed a break in reality in this type of movie. If the ball drops once, people tune out and they carry that with them for the rest of the movie,” said Bettinelli-Olpin.
There has been speculation that found footage had its moment — especially considering Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones somewhat disappointing opening weekend. But Roth disagreed in this case. “When it’s done well,” said Roth, “it actually transcends the format.” Devil’s Due, which he calls “every new couple’s worst nightmare,” he thinks, is one of those films.
Check out the trailer below: