‘Evil has no boundaries’
Devil’s Domain is a 2016 American Faustian supernatural horror film written and directed by Jared Cohn (The Domicile; The Horde; Little Dead Rotting Hood; 12/12/12). It is produced by prolific director and producer David S. Sterling (The Domicile; Witchcraft 14, 15 and 16; and many more, beginning with Things, 1993).
Produced by Cleopatra Films, the film features songs by Iggy Pop, 3Teeth, Luna 13, Onyx, DMX, Missing Persons and, as the poster above attests, ‘Steve Severin of The Cure’ (despite him being a long-standing member of Siouxsie and the Banshees (ahem).
The film is released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US by Cleopatra Entertainment on July 11, 2017.
Lisa Pomson is a troubled, social media-obsessed teen, conflicted with her sexuality and her parents’ misunderstanding of her. When Lisa is secretly filmed binging, purging, and masturbating, the video goes viral; and she suffers extreme cyber-bullying.
Suicidal and on the brink of insanity, a beautiful, mysterious stranger (the Devil) strikes up an online relationship with her. They grow close and meet, and the stranger offers to help in exchange for a favor: Satan will rid her of the bullies and give Lisa fame and fortune in exchange for a baby. Lisa agrees, but as the bullies die one by one, Lisa’s conscience kicks in and she regrets making the deal…
Aided by a more ‘interested’ performance by Michael Madsen, Devil’s Domain gets off on the right cloven hoof. As Lisa’s stepfather, Madsen’s character Bill questions the cruelty of teenagers and the use of technology to make matters worse. Of course, back in 1976 teens didn’t need mobiles and web cams to be cruel to Carrie but that’s another story…
As troubled Lisa, Madi Vodane is effective and for a low budget production that deals with real-life horrific issues such as bulimia, depression and self-harm, Devil’s Domain has certainly has promise. We feel for this young lady, initially…
Alas, once its tacky satanic elements kick in (see pic above), the movie seems like it has morphed into a different, and much cheaper affair and is littered with clichéd lines such as: “Hello, Lisa, welcome to the dark side.”
This is all the work of the Devil incarnate, apparently, and she/he has mild lesbian temptation that’s over briefly before a bland, matter-of-fact offer of fame in return for Lisa’s soul (“God is a very nice guy but he has nothing to do with this … I can make you a star! You’ll be the most famous person in the world, what do you have to lose?). It’s been-there, done-that-before plotting.
As expected, the remainder of Devil’s Domain offers the audience conscience-free retribution for Lisa’s suffering via her pact with the female-formed Devil. A burning phone, maniacs with axes, flesh-eating fun, some rack torture. It’s here (albeit briefly), yet none of it works particularly well. The Manson syndrome barely figures too.
Apparently, the Devil also loves Snapchat in “medieval times”. Lucky for us then that Twitter is the chosen channel for the most ill-informed, unscientific, ranting person on the planet. “Bad things happen when you don’t pay any attention”.
Devil’s Domain is still worth a watch, though perhaps thrust your tongue resolutely in cheek beforehand? And sapphic means satanic, apparently. Retain that thought, cos there’s not much else of substance here.
Adrian J Smith, Horrorpedia
Michael Madsen (Magi; CobraGator; Lumberjack Man), Madi Vodane, Linda Bella (Dracula: Reborn, Monsters in the Woods; Filth to Ashes, Flesh to Dust), Shawn C. Phillips (Ghost Shark, Haunted High, Girls Gone Dead).