Say youre a criminal, and youve kidnapped two teenage girls for your deranged boss, who you are very frightened of. You need to safely and swiftly transport those girls to him. Wouldnt it make sense to know where you are going and take the most direct way possible? Apparently not if you are the dimwit trio of criminals in Devils Mile.
Toby (David Hayter, writer of X-Men among others), Cally (Maria del Mar), and Jacinta (Casey Hudecki) are the aforementioned trio. For some reason they take a desolate road in the middle of nowhere, and of course they quickly get lost (does that still happen in 2014, what with GPS and Google maps?). They stop at a gas station for directions, and the weird dude behind the counter tells them to turn back. They dont listen. Guess how that works out?
Their problems begin when Toby falls asleep at the wheel. He crashes their car and one of the girls ends up dead. Strange things start happening almost immediately. One of the women calls 911 and her own voice responds to her. They all hear and see things that cant be real, including an apparition that seems to be angry and dissipates in light. Soon the apparition hinders their efforts to get away, and a desperate struggle for survival ensues.
None if this is in any way compelling. The kidnappers bicker constantly, which is painfully dull and often irritating. They are one-dimensional and theres no one to root for or care about. There are tearful confessions and shouting matches and a comical amount of profanity. The weak acting and poor pacing dont help. The movie moves very slowly and the stakes feel extremely low. You dont care about these people or what happens to them, including the kidnapping victim.
The obnoxious direction, by Joseph OBrien, doesnt help. Probably in an attempt to compensate for a low budget and limited locations, he goes overboard with the tricks and gimmicks. There is an incoherent mix of extreme close ups, low camera angles, aerial shots of a vehicle on an empty road, voiceover, flash forward and flashback, and a ton of boo scares/loud music. Its an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach, and it doesnt work here.
Adding insult to injury, the trios boss spouts off pseudo-philosophical nonsense like the passage of time breeds perspective and we want to believe we are the masters of our own destiny as he blathers on and on to one of the kidnappers. You will want him to shut up long before Devils Mile is over. This ones a stinker.