It has become a tradition for movie distributors to use horror films made outside of Hollywood as “filler” in the weeks without major releases. Thanks to this we have been able to discover some hidden gems of the genre, but the truth is that most of these films are garbage. In this review we are going to discover in which of these two categories The Devil’s Conspiracy falls, an intriguing film that opens in Colombia and other Latin American countries on May 11, 2023.
What makes it intriguing? The absurd but striking synopsis of it. The only way to do it justice is to put it here exactly as described in the publicity material for it:
“The world’s most powerful biotech lab has finally succeeded in cloning great historical figures with just a drop of DNA. Since then they have organized clandestine auctions for clones of Michelangelo, Galileo and Vivaldi at prices that only the richest can afford. This laboratory is in the hands of a satanic cult that stole the Shroud of Turin. In other words, they stole the DNA of Christ. They also kidnapped Laura, an American art history student, and killed a priest. The latter, before taking his last breath, begs the archangel Michael to use his body to avoid the unspeakable: the insemination of Laura so that she gives birth to the clone of Christ. A clone that would serve as an ultimate offering to the Devil to return to Earth to make a hell of a mess.”
We cannot deny that this exaggerated, absurd and convoluted concept immediately captures attention. This is a pretty ambitious movie in terms of its plot, but as you probably expected after reading that, the idea was too big for him.
Let’s make the conclusion of this review clear once and for all: The Devil’s Conspiracy is not a good movie.. His main problem is a misguided script that doesn’t know what to do with the characters, is full of silly dialogue, and doesn’t care one bit to offer any plausibility even within its absurd plot. They present the story in a very forced way, shoehorning in the most ridiculous explanations possible for what is happening at the most inopportune moments.
This lends itself to moments of unintentional comedy that make some moments of the film quite entertaining. The clear ignorance of the script about elements such as what is DNA, the Shroud of Turin and even Biblical mythology itself is hilarious due to the absolute seriousness with which they take everything.
The Devil’s Conspiracy is presented as a horror movie. It’s true that it has elements of the genre—including a “wow scare” that causes more laughter than fear—but it also wants to be an action film. The priest possessed by the Archangel Michael has no problem taking a shotgun to face the cultists and the occasional demon. The result is entertaining, but nothing special.
This is a US/Czech Republic co-production made on a very low budget. Surprisingly, it looks better than we expected. We’re unaware of director Nathan Frankowski’s previous work, but he and cinematographer Milan Chadima (Grindhouse, Hostel) do the best they can with their few resources to make the film stand out visually.
The introduction, in which we see Michael chain Lucifer in hell, is quite colorful.. We couldn’t help but notice the inspiration from the video game saga Devil in the design of the Archangel. The scenes in cathedrals, museums and laboratories have a great setting. The view that it offers us of the underworld is very limited, but at least it is distinctive. They even managed to fool us into believing for a while that it was actually filmed in Rome!
In terms of actors, we have Peter Mensah (300, Spartacus) in the role of Miguel, but their appearances add up to less than five minutes. Most performances are mediocre, but there are a couple that deserve a special mention. Eveline Hall embodies the wilder side of Nicholas Cage by playing the villainous Liz with delicious exaggeration. The protagonist Alice Orr-Ewing does the best she can with the lousy script. She excels at times when she is possessed by Lucifer and is allowed to work as if she were a mischievous deadite in a horror movie. evil dead.
The portrayal of that character also leads us to one of the most uncomfortable elements of The Devil’s Conspiracy. In the end, it can all be construed as anti-choice (or ‘pro-life’, as they like to describe themselves) propaganda. The bottom line is that even a pregnancy caused by rape can be a positive thing because “God knows what he’s doing.” This is just an interpretation, but we believe that most likely, the writers simply did not think about what they were saying could mean.
The Devil’s Conspiracy can be fun for the right audience. One who gets “the joke” and what the movie is trying to accomplish. But the truth is, most viewers will probably find it just ridiculous and unnecessarily long because it’s almost two hours long. If you are curious, we recommend that you do not spend money on the cinema and wait for it to reach a streaming platform so that you can see it in the peace of your home, with friends and a few beers.