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Featured DVD Review: The Devil's Hand

December 14th, 2014

The Devil's Hand - Buy from Amazon: DVD

The Devil's Hand was filmed early in 2012, but its release was pushed back until it finally came out in October in limited release, as well as on Video on Demand. It opened well below the Mendoza Line and I very much doubt most people reading this even remember it came out. That's how quiet its buzz was. That said, does it deserve better? Or is there a good reason the film's release was delayed?

The Movie

The film begins with a sermon by Edler Beacon talking about the Drommelkind, a prophecy that states six girls will be born on the sixth day of the sixth month and on their 18th birthday, one of them will become the Hand of the Devil. On June 6th, 1994, six women give birth to six girls. This is enough evidence for Edler Beacon and he plans to kill the the infants to stop the prophecy. Jacob Brown stops Elder Beacon from killing the children, but one of the mothers kills her own child before committing suicide.

We flash forward nearly 18 years and the five remaining ladies are best friends. We first see them swimming together in a lake and learn a little bit about them. Sarah is the most prudish of the five and doesn't even go swimming, while Abby is the opposite. Ruth is rebellious and Hannah is ... one of them. Then there's Mary, who is special. While the ladies are swimming, they are interrupted by two young men from a nearby town, one of whom jumps into the lake naked. Everyone gets out of the water, but Mary, who has a vision / seizure and falls back into the water. Fortunately, the other man, Trevor jumps into the lake to save her.

When the ladies arrive at their separate homes, Hannah is attacked and killed. (This is why I didn't describe her personality. She's killed before she has one.) When Mary gets home, she tells her father, Jacob, about the vision and gets into a fight with her step-mother, Rebekah, because they are not supposed to be on the far side of the lake. The next day, Mary and the rest find out Hannah is missing. Edler Beacon treats this as a runaway, but Mary thinks Hannah is in trouble and wants to go looking for her.

In the meantime, Edler Beacon gathers together the families of the four girls. He is convinced the prophecy is nearly complete and he knows of only one way to stop it.

The Devil's Hand has an interesting, but not particularly unique setup. The idea of a religious group dealing with a prophecy isn't new. Nor is it unique to have a film that deals with the issue of whether or not a religious prophecy is real or if it is a product of madness. I previously reviewed The Haunting of Molly Hartley and I was continually reminded of that movie while watching this one. This is doubly bad, as The Haunting... wasn't a good movie to begin with. This movie doesn't take the same basic premise (substituting a private school for an Amish-like community here) and do something more with it. It's the same basic setup with the same flaws. While there was not enough new in the script to grab my attention, at least the acting in the movie was better than most similar releases. I guess that's something.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD, not unless you count the trailer, which I don't.

The Verdict

There are a number of actors in The Devil's Hand that I would like to see again, but in a better movie. In the meantime, this film was too dull to keep my attention and the DVD is devoid of special features. Skip it.

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Filed under: Video Review, The Devil's Hand, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Meaney, Rufus Sewell, Leah Pipes, Thomas McDonell, Adelaide Kane, Alycia Debnam Carey, Katie Garfield, Nicole Elliott