A single mother (Ali Larter) and her two children are tormented by a mysterious supernatural disturbance in their home. Paranormal experts have refused to help, but with the presence becoming more intense and dangerous, her scientist boyfriend steps in to hunt down the violent spectre.

For years, film theorists have pondered when the right time to expose ‘the monster’ is. The Diabolical exposes it within seconds of the opening sequence – a courageous and questionable act, yet its momentum only goes downhill from there. Opening to a pan of a dim-lit suburban home, Madison (Larter) sits at the dining table, Googling “how to file for bankruptcy”. A few seconds later, the house starts shaking and a snarling figure appears that can only be described as a melty-face-man. This would be terrifying, however, if it wasn’t for the poor visual effects, it coming entirely out of nowhere and it being followed immediately by a never-ending title sequence.

In many ways, this sums up The Diabolical. Plagued by every horror stereotype and cliché, yet trying so hard to go against standard horror codes and conventions, it seems this movie just can’t catch a break. In an attempt to build plot and character development, unnecessary script and scenes are used as if desperately to add any depth it can. Madison’s son has anger issues, her husband walked on her and family because of his own anger and now her house is seemingly haunted by a guy in a while t-shirt and trousers who appears in flashes of light. Unfortunately, it all comes across a little too lazy.

In a bid to create a shocking twist, it morphs in to a sort of sci-fi thriller as we eventually learn that the scientist boyfriend’s old testing facility may play a bigger role than first thought. Though a somewhat unique plot twist, it comes as no surprise when it is revealed, one hour in as we are given countless, blatant clues along the way. It is proof that perhaps originality isn’t always a good thing.

With a cheesy, poorly written script and sub-par acting, B-Movie visual effects and very little going on, The Diabolical truly lives up to its name.

Frightfest London review: The Diabolical
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About The Author

Sophie Elizabeth

Sophie is a film blogger from South London with a degree in Film Theory and Major Production. Sophie currently works in digital marketing but in her spare time you'll find her writing reviews or at the cinema. Sophie loves all things Star Wars and Hollywood but having specialized in the Horror genre, monsters are her first love. She'll watch absolutely anything given the chance - you can find her also on her blog, http://www.popcornandglitter.co.uk Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophieathawes