Half of Devil’s Workshop is pretty good. The other half is an endurance test, featuring a character so irritating and obnoxious that he torpedoes the whole movie.
The good half features Timothy Granaderos as Clayton, a struggling actor who’s up for a prominent role as a demonologist in an upcoming horror film. After getting a callback for another reading, he decides to go the method route and places an ad hoping to meet a real demonologist. Former reality show host Eliza (Radha Mitchell) responds, inviting him to spend the weekend at her home. Almost immediately, she begins subjecting him to mind games, manipulation and - eventually - supernatural torment. Long before Clayton figures it out, it’s obvious Eliza is more demon than demonologist.
These scenes are fairly interesting - occasionally creepy - and Mitchell is suitably intimidating as Eliza. While it’s a bit slow at times and we don’t care much about Clayton, things get pretty fun once Eliza starts unleashing her devilry.
|Radha forgets why she came into this room.
I dunno…maybe writer-director Chriss von Hoffman felt he didn’t have enough for a feature film and decided to pad things out. But hey, sometimes you gotta bite the bullet for the sake of your story and just make a short subject. Clayton & Eliza’s supernatural cat & mouse game would’ve made a decent one. Instead, we’re forced to spend half the time with a guy we feel like punching whenever he opens his mouth.