The Devil’s Rejects
Drama (Action, Horror)
Running Time: 107 minutes
Starring: Sid Haig, Cheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, William Forsythe, Ken Foree
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Rating: 8 out of 10
The serial killing Firefly family is on the run from the police.
I was not looking forward to this film as its predecessor House of a 1000 Corpses was a tedious watch. This film quickly shows it is way different in both design and scope and I found I was captivated with this movie pretty much from the start. Devils Rejects is the story of the murderous Firefly family as they run from a vengeful cop and a murderous police force. For the purpose of this review Devils Rejects will be known as DR and House of a 1000 Corpses will be called HTC.
If you liked HTC this may not be the movie for you. DR has thrown out all the unnecessary gore and human mutilation and turned itself into a pretty captivating revenge movie. Don’t get me wrong there is still plenty of blood and a high body count but there is a sense to the madness in this film. We are back following the murderous serial killing Firefly family as they are on the run from the law. The film starts and the first thing you will notice is it is taking place under the blazing sun. A sense of realism is captured as no longer are these characters skulking around in the night. As the family runs from the law they never stray from their evil instincts. Instead of just fleeing in any direction they take the time to hole up in different locales and mentally and physically torture their captives. There is always a gritty sense that something awful could happen at any moment and that is a cool feeling. Throats are cut and people die and the nervous tension will never leave the viewer.
The acting and more specifically the characters themselves have been overhauled and perfected in DR. No longer are these characters monsters in human bodies. They are humans who are monsters and that is a big deal to change up. Mass murderers who eat ice cream, bicker, and even show affection, are even creepier then simply someone who likes to kill. Humanizing the Firefly family is the smartest thing director Rob Zombie could have done as it gives the film realistic texture. The acting is above average and the casting is spot on. Where they find some of these background people always surprises me as they are truly odd looking. The standouts in no particular order are: Baby Firefly played by Sheri Moon Zombie. Her character is cool with her good looks, nice teeth, and shrill voice. She is an unlikely killer and that is why she works. Next is Captain Spaulding played by Sid Haig. Clowns have always been creepy and Haig takes it to a new level with his rotten teeth and crazy laugh. Last is Sherriff Wydell played by William Forsythe. His barely contained anger as he searches for these killers is palpable. He stole the show when the Firefly family was not on screen.
As the film progressed I realized the oddest sensation. I started to care about the Firefly Family even though they are serial killers. I wanted them to get caught at the start but by the middle and towards the end I was pulling for them. That is truly what made this film so special. The viewer will get wrapped up in the chase and the unbending revenge mindset of the Sherriff. DR comes across as a serious drama and at the drop of a hat someone gets violently removed from the story reminding you it is a horror. The viewer will love the very down to earth soundtrack and will love the odd joke thrown in to break up some serious and brutal scenes of death. As the film comes to a pretty satisfying end I couldn’t help but feel this is one of the most complete horrors I have ever seen. It has a generous amount of scary situations but also is super realistic making the film even more terrifying.
Director and writer Rob Zombie took this movie in a different direction from HTC and just rocked it. The characters are interesting and yet still command the murderous edge. The story is fantastic as it deftly entwines a cool revenge story and it makes the characters go from heels to likeable. The kills happen frequently but don’t overdo it. The music enhances the vibe of the film and the casting is great. Using grainy looking film and having the film shot mostly during the day were nice touches. Zombie just took this family in a whole new direction and it worked for me on almost every level.
I give this movie a huge recommendation especially to those horror addicts that like a good story with their blood.
T Factor + If you like Rob Zombie as a director this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you don’t like gore in your horror than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: House of a 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre.