At the 2015 Telluride Horror Film Festival, I had the opportunity to introduce a film that stole my breath away. Anyone smart enough to catch Sean Byrne’s debut film The Loved Ones bore witness to a fresh and needed voice in modern horror. Equal parts a John Hughes teenage coming of age story mixed with Chan Wook Park levels of violence, The Loved Ones was the rare debut that knocked it out of the park. While many filmmakers fall victim to a dreaded sophomore slump, Byrne’s followup work, The Devil’s Candy is a brilliant, terrifying and disturbing vision. Now mass audiences will get to see what the festival crowds fell in love with over the past couple years when IFC Midnight unleashes The Devil’s Candy on VOD and limited theaters on March 17th.
The film stars Ethan Embry as a struggling artist and heavy metal enthusiast who buys a home he and his family can scarcely afford. Unbeknownst to the new occupants, the previous owners were murdered by their oafish, mentally imbalanced son, who believed he was doing Satan’s bidding:
In THE DEVIL’S CANDY, Jesse, a struggling artist, moves with his wife and daughter into their dream house in rural Texas, the price driven down by the property’s dark past. Their lives soon begin to unravel as the demonic forces lurking in the house take hold of the young family. Jesse’s paintings take a satanic turn while the family is plagued by Ray, the deranged son of the former owners. Soon it becomes clear that Jesse and Ray are both being influenced by the same dark forces and that Jesse and his family aren’t safe from its former inhabitants or indeed from the devil himself.