Hey guys. Remember Amityville way back when and how scary that movie was? Remember when they remade it with Ryan Reynolds and how much that sucked? Yeah, well, The Devil’s Candy was nothing like that.
Let’s get right into it.
2015’s The Devil’s Candy starring Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Kiara Glasco, and Pruitt Taylor Vince. The story begins with Raymond Smilie (Taylor Vince), a middle-aged mentally ill man who starts hearing voices. One night, he decides to play his electric guitar to stop the voices, which would be fine if it weren’t in the dead of night. His mother gets angry with him and threatens to send him back to the nuthouse. Raymond loses it and pushes his mother down the stairs.
Fast forward to sometime later, we meet the Hellmans. (Heh, HELLman. I see what you did there). Jesse Hellman(Embry) is a starving artist and metalhead who has to paint butterflies for all the straight-laced people in the world to feed himself and his family. Apparently, that’s been working out because The Hellmans are able to buy a new house!
By the way, Embry as Jesse Hellman looks really dirty all through this movie. Like, he looks like a dirty Matthew McConaughey in almost every scene. About halfway through this one, I was getting kind of desperate for him to take a really good shower with soap. I mean, I was starting to think I could smell him through my screen.
Anyway, Yay, new house! So, Jesse, his wife Astrid(Appleby) and his daughter and fellow metalhead daughter Zooey(Glasco) move into a beautiful house that they clearly cannot afford because we already established earlier that Jesse is a starving artist. The real estate agent…who apparently doubles as a cow rancher…warns them that the previous owner killed himself after his wife fell down the stairs.
Everything’s going okay until Jesse starts hearing voices. The voices lead him to start painting…and painting…and painting until he’s painted the day away. The end result?
Which is great..except he doesn’t remember painting the picture. Nonetheless, Jesse sees this as a boon and takes the painting to an art dealer who previously rejected him. The secretary tells him, “Meh, I guess we’ll look at it. Whatever.”
So, okay, everything’s everything until Ray shows up at their house all shaky-eyed and crazy looking. Zooey answers the door and they stare at each other for a minute. Ray notices the fake tattoo on her arm of a guitar and tells her he has one, which makes Zooey go all; “Oh, my God! I totally wanted one of those, too! I can’t believe you’ve got a Flying V! Awesome!”
While this weird conversation is going on, Jesse comes to the door and asks what he wants. Ray says something to the effect of: “I need to come home to my mommy and daddy.” Jesse realizes that this must be the poor sap whose parents died in the house before them. He tells him that he’s sorry for his loss, but he needs to roll out because this isn’t his house anymore. He closes the door and Ray starts ringing the doorbell over and over again. He yells through the door that he’s going to call the police and Ray leaves finally.
And then, Zooey goes all “Way to go, Dad! We’re supposed to be NICE to people! Remember??” Jesse’s wife, who also witnessed the exchange is in full agreement.
Yeah, so, yeah. This guy here, Zooey said that about.
Let me step back for a moment to impart a little parental advice. When somebody who looks like this guy shows up at your door and creepily asks for his mommy and daddy and your 12-13 doesn’t know enough to know enough to be scared, you have failed as a parent. Lemme say that again. If your FEMALE child does not know stranger danger by the time they are a preteen, YOU HAVE FAILED AS A PARENT! Your child does not know to run from the bad guys that ACTUALLY LOOK AND BEHAVE LIKE BAD GUYS FOR GOD’S SAKE?! WHAT WERE YOU DOING IF YOU SKIPPED STRANGER DANGER DAY IN PARENTING 101?? IT’S THE FIRST FRICKIN’ THING YOU TEACH YOUR KIDS, RIGHT AFTER DON’T SWALLOW PENNIES! JESUS, MAN!
That being said, as this story goes on, it becomes very apparent that Jesse and Astrid do not make the best decisions as parents. The next morning, Creepy Ray leaves his guitar and amp outside for Zooey, who – because she has no concept of stranger danger – is excited that he left it for her. Jesse says no way can she keep the guitar because, well, he gives a reason, but as a parent myself, I wouldn’t feel the need to. “Because I said so, dammit! Now, get your ass in the house!” would probably have been my response, but, whatever.
So, we travel into bad parenting theatre at this point. Astrid is barely there. I don’t know that she does for a living, but it keeps her away from home until well after dark. In the meantime, Jesse is a painting up a storm. The beautiful butterfly picture he was making for the straights earlier he’s now compelled to paint over with disturbing images of suffering children…including a little kid who while playing in the park ends up being stalked and killed by Ray.
Jesse’s so immersed in his work that he forgets to pick up Zooey from school until way after dark…which, admittedly, is a pretty terrible thing to do. When he gets there, he apologizes and lets her keep the creep guitar to appease her.
So, that night, Zooey wakes up to find Ray in her bed. Zooey, now getting that long-missed lesson in stranger danger, starts screaming for help. Her mother comes into her room and starts screaming and everyone’s screaming and Ray makes a run for it, running over Jesse in the hallway as he leaves. Okay, so they call the cops, the cops say, “Meh, change the locks”.
Okay, so, Mr. Bigshot art dealer agrees to see Jesse’s new paintings, which is great. He seems the newest painting, which now has a big eyeball monster in it and his daughter on fire in the corner, and calls it genius. But the meeting is running long and he promised he would pick up his daughter from school.
So, Jesse goes to get his daughter, but he has a blowout on the road…and the whispers are getting louder. He tries calling his daughter, but no answer, so he hoofs it towards her school. By the time he gets there, she’s gone.
Where has she gone?
Yeah…Creepy Ray has kidnapped her. He tells her that he can no longer resist the voices he hears and now he has to give her to “Him” because children are…wait for it…"The Sweetest Candy”. Okay, so he leaves her to get ready to chop her up. Zooey manages to get untied and escapes through the bathroom window.
At the police station, Jesse’s consoling both Astrid and Zooey and the police are talking about getting them into witness protection because Ray is still out there somewhere (Yeah, I know that’s now how that works, but just go with it). The cops escort them home and they get ready to leave. Of course, Ray shows up, kills the cops and steal one of their guns and storms into the house, guns blazing.
All told, he manages to shoot Jesse and Astrid and set the house on fire while trapping himself and Zooey in her bedroom. While bleeding to death on the floor downstairs, Jesse realizes that his daughter burning in the painting that he did was happening now. He manages to get up, get his wife out of the house, then go back in and up the stairs to get his daughter.
And then an epic battle ensues between Ray and Jesse and for just a moment, Jesse is kicking some butt. Until Ray gets the jump on him, then advances towards Zooey through the flames like a big, fire golem. But wait! Dad comes out of nowhere and beats him to death with…wait for it…THE FRICKIN GUITAR!
So, Jesse, who has fully redeemed himself as a dad, grabs his daughter and the two of them escape the burning house. As they watch the burning house, Jesse realizes that Ray had been kidnapping and killing the children that Jesse painted in his picture…and he finds the suitcases their crammed in a few yards from the house.
Sooooo, yeah, Big Ole Jewel for this one. As disjointed Amityville ripoffs go, The Devil’s Candy was pretty awesome.
Okay, so, next week might be a double feature. Next on the list was "Dagon", but I’m not sure if I’ve seen it before. I might be mixing it up with another movie, so, we’ll see. Just in case, the next movie is “Don’t Kill It” with everyone’s favorite B-movie action star, Dolph Lundgren. And before you ask, yes, they are both demon movies, therefore continuing the Demonathon which is this blog lately.