Fantasia 2016: The Devil’s Candy

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of TIFF 2015

A painter and his family are tormented by demonic forces in The Devil’s Candy. Jesse (Ethan Embry) is struggling heavy metal-loving painter, who moves into a new house in Texas, with his wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) and daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco). Things start to seem off when the family is visited by Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the mentally unbalanced son of the house’s deceased former owners. In addition, Jesse begins hearing a voice in his head and begins painting an incredibly hellish image of screaming children, one of whom is Zooey.

Six years after wowing audiences with his darkly comic 2009 horror film The Loved Ones, Tasmanian director Sean Byrne returns with his second feature film The Devil’s Candy. Byrne opts for a much darker and unsettling tone this time around, as this family deals with both the invisible threat of the Devil’s whispers and the physical threat of the hulking Ray, who is forced to satisfy Satan’s hunger, with his latest target being Jesse’s daughter Zooey.

The Devil’s Candy has an extremely chilling atmosphere throughout, with the film getting quite tense in the final act. There is also a big heavy metal element to the film, which includes Ray pounding on a guitar in the middle of the night, in order to try and silence the demonic voices in his head. Altogether, The Devil’s Candy is a chilling, tense, and just plain amazing horror film, with a great heavy metal soundtrack.

9 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).