Doomsday preppers. Survivalists. Hunting enthusiasts. They all take being prepared very seriously. But how do you prepare to track down a legendary creature? Well, in Henrique Couto’s latest found footage horror THE DEVIL’S TRAIL, we find out what not do while looking for certain hooved beasts while in the state of New Jersey.
The Jersey Devil is a pretty fun story. Supposedly, the cursed thirteenth child of Deborah Leeds, the child turned into a monstrous form, killed the midwife and absconded to the Pine Barrens. This was back in 1735, but sightings were documented up through 1909. And the stories haven’t died off. Thus it is up to our trustworthy hosts, Dallas and Hank, played by John Hambrick (ALONE IN THE GHOST HOUSE) and the director, Henrique Couto (MAKING OUT) respectively.
Heading out into the Jersey woods with limited supplies (all part of their show’s gimmick), our daring duo set off in the middle of winter. Why? TV ratings are always higher when a participant might lose a limb to frostbite. Or other kinds of bites. We know that they have been on several adventures together, but there is immediate tension. Hambrick is a survival veteran where as Couto is brought in to spice things up for the viewers.
Thankfully, they don’t need too much spice to start out with, when they stumble upon a nude coven of witches performing a nature ceremony. That coven is played by Couto regulars Joni Durian (AMITYVILLE: NO ESCAPE) and Erin R. Ryan (THE BABYSITTER MASSACRE), with Rachel Redolfi (SCARE WAVES). Our veterans aren’t scared off, but are a little tempted by the siren song. But the boys have some devils to track.
Henrique Couto has successfully crowd funded several films in the last few years. He’s built a devoted fan base for his horror and comedy works. So it was a surprise when he announced that he had made a movie on the fly and would be releasing it as a secret. He opened up pre-orders with only the words that it was found footage and horror. Beyond that, he asked his fans to take him on faith, releasing the movie on DVD and streaming on the exact same date that the title was even released. Brave strategy, but the mystique just adds into the overall story being told.
For his last found footage horror flick, it had its fans but it fell flat for me. That being said, it wasn’t an issue this time around. Hambrick and Couto kept up a lively banter back and forth, with tension easily rising between the two men. As things got colder, the heat between them burned brighter. Hambrick came off down right frightening in some situations. And for a horror film, that helps a ton. The more wild cards to play, the better.