August 1, 2023

DEVILREAUX is Sour Candy

2023 / 94 min
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

For horror fans, Tony Todd needs no introduction. He’s been kicking around in the genre for so long that his very name can be used to sell a movie…even if he isn’t actually in it all that much. Devilreaux goes one step further. Not only is Todd’s role essentially a cameo, this one blatantly rips-off the classic that made him a horror icon in the first place. 

Devilreaux is a cheap, ship-shod variation of Candyman, featuring Vincent M. Ward as the title character. To give you an indication of how thin the story is, we first learn about Devilreaux during a dinner conversation between a cop investigating a recent murder and her terrified boyfriend, who ominously explains the legend. Devilreaux was the son of a murdered slave, later killed by the same plantation owner who shot Dad…

If Slash and Captain Howdy had a son.
…then the film throws-in a 30 minute flashback sequence showing the very story we just heard. Other than padding the running time - and including Todd’s cameo as Devilreaux’s dad - the sequence serves no narrative purpose, since we learn absolutely nothing the previous dinner conversation didn’t tell us.

Elsewhere, Devilreaux is resurrected during the present to murder a variety of dull characters. But unlike Candyman, which had thought-provoking themes underlying the carnage, this one is ultimately just a lazy slasher film, devoid of atmosphere, dread or an interesting killer…just a guy in face-paint and dreads who repeatedly pops up behind his victims. There’s zero attempt to build anything resembling suspense. Even the death scenes are underwhelming.

With cheap production values, one-note characters and terrible performances, Devilreaux doesn’t even qualify as a decent rip-off. It’s a complete waste of the viewer’s time and Tony Todd’s name. Here’s hoping he was well-paid for this, because he should be ashamed to include it on his resume.

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