Devil’s Domain written and directed by Jared Cohen (The Horde, 2016) plays out a little like a teenage slasher with paranormal elements to it and whilst I rest assured it won’t blow you away it is for the most part a good watch.
Firstly a heads up, I would not settle down to watch Devil’s Domain with your dinner in front of you, it starts with our female lead forcing herself to be sick and even with an iron stomach it’s graphic!
The plot follows Lisa a troubled teen, bullied at school and struggling to deal with both her sexuality and bulimia. Her friend who comes over for the night secretly films her and live streams footage of her binge eating, purging and later on strumming one out.
Tormented at school over the footage she goes home where you would normally expect to find support from the parents, they are less than impressed and further put Lisa down. At rock bottom Lisa is added by a stranger on Facebook called ‘Destiny’, Destiny with her soothing words of comfort shines some light on Lisa’s situation and invites her over……….at 2am, sure why not!
There are scenes of Lisa both purging and self harming which are hard hitting, knowing that this has some relevance in most schools today sends quite a poignant message. The scenes of bullying are strong in violence with lots of the females shouting “kill yourself” – it manages to highlight just how destructive social media platforms such as Facebook can be in this environment.
Destiny beautiful in appearance reveals a bit of a shocker to Lisa that she is in fact the devil and wants to offer Lisa an offer, in exchange for a baby she will receive fame, fortune and the bullies will be gone. Naturally the deal has been sweetened with the aid of a steamy lesbian scene and whilst Lisa still questions the truth behind Destiny’s identity she goes full Satan outfit, horns included, just to verify her statement! In all honesty the devil outfit isn’t quite as dodgy as I was expecting at the time, it has a slimy look to it making it look more organic than fake.
The devil starts to get rid of the bullies one by one, each meeting a gruesome demise – Lisa seeing the destruction that Destiny is causing tries to back out of the pact.
It’s a pretty uninspiring plot but it does give the devil a good excuse to start dismantling teens, for the most part in interesting ways. One of the bitchy girls does get hooked up to an old school torture rack, bones crunching and skin tearing and is one of a handful of strong gore scenes.
Although the concept of Devil’s Domain is hardly cutting-edge the film as a whole does feel quite fresh, maybe down to the young cast and fairly fluid movement of the sequences of events shown, everything is executed along with a punchy soundtrack provided by artists such as ‘Iggy Pop, DMX, The Onyx and Brainticket’.
In with the keeping of the ‘sexual’ nature of the film towards the finale we are exposed to a scene whereby for the second time in a little over two weeks we see an innocent female taking a pounding from the devil!
Overall Devil’s Domain is a fresh feeling film from Jared Cohen, sure to entertain both a younger audience and the more mature wanting to find some cheap thrills.