Film – The Devil of the Bayou
Director : LaLaLauren Freedman
Production : Webfoot Enterprises/LaLaLauren Freedman
In all my years of watching indie horror film after indie horror film, I can safely say that I’ve never experienced a fun, low budget horror flick that is effective in what it sets out to do. Most times these types of films are either too heavy on the sheer campyness, or suffer from a plague of simply bad acting. I was pleasantly surprised to find out however, that this charming little debut by our pal LaLaLauren Freedman suffers from none of these flaws. What it does do is entertain the viewer, and isn’t that what a movie of any genre is aiming to accomplish?
The Devil of the Bayou is set in rural Florida, and this proves to be an excellent setting – as the atmosphere and ambiance of this short film actually captured my attention and held it for the duration of the picture. The peaceful, serene setting of the swamp and surrounding woods, combined with the artistically imperfect film quality worked perfectly for the nature of this type of movie. The music choice worked well here also – the combination actually reminded me of the French film Martyrs.
It is in this setting that we find our first soon to be victim – Giacamo Crimaudo. Looking like he just finished a long cruise on his Harley, we find him peacefully fishing when he hears something. When he investigates, he is shocked to discover…. well I won’t give it away, but let’s just say the first lines of the movie were three words beginning with “What” and ending with “Fuck”. The results are …well, first we’re introduced to our beautiful “demoness” Erin Grundel .. and second, let’s just say that I don’t think he took home any fish…or himself for that matter…
We continue to find our two “stars” – Kevin “Yoshi” Stanton and Ashe Platts sitting under a tree in the swamp, discussing the legend of this “demon” that had been killing people in the bayou. They decide to postpone study time, and at Stanton’s urging, they go investigate the alleged area where these murders had been taking place. They discover this to be a mistake however, as they find out that the rumors are true.
Two things stayed with me after finishing The Devil of the Bayou. The first thing is that I’ve never seen a horror film that I wish I was a victim in more than than this one. In fact nothing would make me happier, or more than likely any male for that matter, to be slayed by the beautiful Grundel, who plays her role with a feral madness about her, combined with ..shall I say … seductive mannerisms not commonly seen in “swamp monsters”. The second point that stuck with me was that it is truly refreshing to see a horror film with a “final guy” so to speak. And keep watching after the credits are done rolling, there’s an extra bit that is sure to leave you smiling (and for me, feeling slightly jealous of a certain duck) ….
It is evident here that Freedman would put the boring burning Barbie doll massacre commonly found on Netflix to shame. For a movie that is as short as it is, it doesn’t attempt to recreate the wheel – or take itself too seriously for that matter… but it is entertaining in a way that can only be accomplished through true passion for one’s craft – in acting, camerawork, and direction. This compensates ten fold for any lack of budget. Plus Skeeter the Duck won my heart – but there’s no way in swamp ass hell I’m giving up the goodies on him.
We here at Evil Movie Reviews hope to see more from Lauren and crew soon. A strong first start guys – keep it up.