“Devil’s Path” – Movie Review: An Enjoyable Queer Thriller
For me, Devil’s Path ended up offering a thriller which actually made me feel tense as the events unfolded. You should definitely consider watching it. From actor/writer/director Matthew Montgomery, Devil’s Path will open in Los Angeles on March 1, 2019. It will be available on DVD & VOD on March 5, 2019.
I was provided a free screener of Devil’s Path for review from Breaking Glass Pictures. The opinions are my own.
I appreciate queer talent creating queer content that is different. I want LGBTQ+ stories to not always be about coming out or the hardships such individuals face. Don’t get me wrong. Such stories are very important because a lot of work still needs to be done when it comes to changing anti-queer societies. However, it is fun to see queer content entering other genres such as sci-fi, action, comedy, mystery, thriller, and such.
Devil’s Path is a thriller which made me feel tensed the moment it began. The film collected the Best First Narrative Feature and Best Supporting Actor awards at FilmOut San Diego. It is a well-made indie flick which addresses how quick we are to judge others because it fits our perspective.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In the early 90’s, two strangers meet in a wilderness park where gay men cruise for sex. What seems like an innocent and random meeting quickly descends into a horrific nightmare. With recent disappearances and attacks, the two men soon find themselves in the terrifying position of being the next victims in a deadly game of cat and mouse. As they flee further into the woods to escape the danger, they begin to understand that the greatest danger of all may be closer than either of them realizes. Will these two strangers be able to work together to defeat the darkness that has settled in on Devil’s Path? Or will their own secrets and lies lead them to be the next two missing persons in this perilous park?
There are many twists and turns in this film so it is a bit tough for me to talk too much about it without giving spoilers. Of course, you might see some of the revelations coming if you are someone who watches or reads a lot of thrillers. But even then, Montgomery did a good job of making me go “Ah!” or “Oh!” when certain truths did surface.
Being set in 1992 definitely lends a hand in amping the overall tension. Noah and Patrick (the two leads) don’t have cellphones to call for help as they try to stay hidden from their pursuers in the eerie woods. The actors also do an impressive job of raising the creepy factor. You can tell both of them are hiding stuff. They don’t trust each other and you won’t either. It felt great! I’m a sucker for thrillers where characters aren’t who they appear to be.
Here’s a statement from Montgomery:
Ultimately becoming my producing thesis while studying at USC film school, Devil’s Path started as an idea to explore the relationship between two people whose perspectives on a particular situation would be two sides of the same coin. The place, Devil’s Path, was originally inspired by an actual hiking trail in the Catskill Mountains of New York. It’s considered to be arguably one of the most difficult hiking trails in the country. I wanted the characters to be trekking through rough terrain as a metaphor for their constant struggle with trying to connect. As I was working on Devil’s Path more aspects to the main characters Noah and Patrick started to come to the surface. I wondered what it would be like to be trapped in the middle of nowhere with a complete stranger and in a situation where you could only rely on each other, even if you didn’t trust one another. The flawed human is one of the most interesting dynamics in a story. Devil’s Path explores what happens when the conviction of one’s perspective gets in the way of truth.
I give Devil’s Path 4 out of 5 stars for being an indie thriller which, even though I found some of the writing predictable, does make for an enjoyable watch.
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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