11th Sep2020

‘The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jason Brooks, Jeri Ryan, William Shatner, Ciara Hanna, Robert Scott Wilson | Written by Maurice Hurley | Directed by Jared Cohn

Director Jared Cohn has been carving something of a name for himself in the direct to DVD market for a good few years now, usually delivering fun low-budget genre films that at least have one great idea on which to hang the film. And Devil’s Revenge is no different.

The hook here? The absolutely AMAZING creature designs by Vincent J. Guastini (Art Of The Dead, Havenhurst) which, along with the brilliant flashbacks to a grim and grisly past, keep you watching way past the over indulgent, overwrought, dialogue-heavy first half. The brief glimpses of something greater giving the audience hope that the rest of the film will – eventually – follow suit. It doesn’t but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to enjoy about this Indiana Jones-esque horror tale.

John Brock (Jason Brooks) is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that his family has sought for generations. Upon his return, John starts to see dream-like visions of a ferocious bird-like creature from ancient folklore. John soon learns that the cave he came into contact with on his last expedition was indeed the cave that contains the relic and also a portal to Hell and a place of worship for the Occult. John discovers that the only way to stop the increasingly realistic visions is to go back to the cave with his family, find the relic once and for all, and destroy it…

Whilst a lot of Cohn’s film mine the schlockier end of the filmic spectrum, it looks and feels like he’s tried to step up his game with Devil’s Revenge and unfortunately it doesn’t really work; instead the film comes across like The Asylum trying to do Blumhouse. And sub-par Blumhouse too (because not all their films are as great as many make out).

The film also suffers from being over-long. The story itself could have been told in a much shorter timeframe, with less of the melodramatic “visions” and less of a focus on the supernatural frustrations John Brock suffers. After all, it’s this portion of the film that is the major issue here – there’s no real danger, no sense of tension to what happens to archaeologist Brock; which in turns means we, the audience, don’t really feel any empathy for him. Which once again leaves us with just those brilliant GWAR-like monsters (just check out that poster) and viciously violent flashbacks to get us through.

When the film does kick into high gear, as Brock and his family head back into the caves there’s a glimmer of hope that we’re going to get something truly terrifying out of this particular Devil’s Revenge. Something akin to The Descent perhaps? Sadly not. Instead we get Brock and his family nonchalantly wandering around some caves before being set upon by THOSE monsters. Then Devil’s Revenge goes completely off the rails. Oh and I almost forgot, William Shatner turns up with a big boomstick and a pep talk for Brock!

Definitely a case of too much talk and not enough terror, Devil’s Revenge is a disappointingly lacklustre film from a director whose work I typically enjoy. What’s worse is that the epilogue pretty much negates the entirety of the film. For shame!

Devil’s Revenge is released on DVD and Digital in the UK on September 14th, courtesy of 4Digital Media.

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