Devil May Care Poster

Devil May Care (2023) Review

Devil May Care is the latest film from Sam Mason-Bell (The Truth Will Out, Video Shop Tales of Terror). He’s a very busy man, with seventy-six credits as a director, eighty as a producer and then there are the ones as writer, cinematographer, etc. all since 2008. One wonders when he manages to sleep.

His latest attempt to keep everyone else from sleeping takes place in the woods outside of a sleepy English town. Three girls, Elaine (Anaïs Marden, For the Love of Eve), Missy (Annabella Rich, The Pocket Film of Superstitions, Tales From the Great War) and Pam (Nicole Katherine Riddell, White Sky, Mask of the Devil) hook up with three guys, Tom (Eliot Gibson, Sister Boniface Mysteries, Call It a Day), Brad (Aidan Harris, Bad Impulse, Hello Au Revoir) and Mac (Jack Perry).

Their plans involve hiking out to the abandoned, and of course haunted, theater out in the woods to drink, have sex and do anything else that might get them killed.

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Like most of Mason-Bell’s films, Devil May Care is an extremely low budget DIY production and that’s reflected in Chuck Wagner’s (Sawed Off, Bureau of Alien Detectors) script. There’s plenty of talking and wandering around in the dark with Satan (James Hamer-Morton, The Haunting of Pendle Hill, Pandamonium) and a werewolf (Chris Mills, Found Footage of Fear: Digital Terror, Lonely Hearts) making sporadic appearances. By the film’s end, a few zombies and some ropey looking tentacles will have joined the party as well.

The effects are basic but for the most part effective. When he’s in his true form, The Devil is a man with ram horns growing out of his head. The werewolf is simply an actor with a mask and claws that vaguely resemble Paul Naschy’s wolfman. There’s a shot of a ball of red light traveling down a corridor that is either very basic CGI, or stolen from a Tom Baker era episode of Dr. Who.

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Despite dodging a bullet there, Devil May Care does suffer from budget related issues, the biggest of which is its setting. The theater was supposed to have been abandoned in the 1940s and overrun by the forest. The film was shot in a theater, but it’s clean, well maintained and obviously still in use. You can also see modern chairs and other equipment in the background of several shots.

The oddest thing about the film though is its tone. Most of the director’s film’s that I’ve seen have been distinctly dark affairs, with any humour being or the morbid variety. Devil May Care on the other hand is much lighter with scenes such as the murder of an actress that features such over the top theatrical acting it had to be intentional.

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There’s also none of the nasty, cynical view of human nature frequently seen in his films. About the worst the leads do is some light teasing of the two geekier members of the group. The violence and nudity they’ve often featured is missing as well. Given the characters are supposed to be teens, I can understand not showing any skin. But given his previous films, and how bloody Wagner’s script for Sawed Off was, I was expecting Devil May Care to be a bit of a bloodbath, instead it almost feels like a kid’s film.

If you don’t mind the lack of gore or seriousness, or you want something your younger kids can watch, Devil May Care is an acceptable way to kill ninety minutes, especially as it’s currently available free to watch, with commercials, on YouTube. You can check the Trash Arts Facebook page for news of its release on other platforms. There doesn’t seem to be a trailer for it, but I’ve embedded the film so you can check it out.

YouTube video
Where to watch Devil May Care
Our Score
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