“The acting is great, the story is interesting and the gore and scares are very effective. If you like the found-footage genre, particularly the style of Paranormal Activity, this is a film you should see.”

A found-footage scarer from Mark Huber, a director known more for his TV movies, Chasing the Devil surprised me by being effective, having genuine scares, and even attempting to answer those questions that you find yourself asking when watching films of this genre. One such example is when Patrick takes a blood sample from a bleeding wall, then asks his police buddy to run it for him, which is something I’ve often wondered about in other horror flicks, as to why no one else ever does this when they come across blood under similar circumstances.

Although Chasing the Devil is very similar to the films in the Paranormal Activity franchise, it sets itself apart from the other copies by having a well written script and good performances by an able cast, who come across as genuine. In fact, the acting is one of this films highlights, which really helped sell this story of demon possession.

Chasing the Devil
Directed by
Mark Haber
Cast
Tim Phillipps, Challen Cates, Chris Yule, Cory Knauf
Release Date
7 March 2014
Nav’s Grade: B

We begin with Patrick (Tim Phillipps) talking into the camera as he tells us the story of how his sister died, then how, after investigating the truth behind her supposed suicide, everyone attached to the making of the film we’re about to watch, died. Patrick has his best friend Frank (Ary Katz, who spends virtually the entire film out of sight behind the camera), record everything on film, then invites paranormal investigators from the TV show, Para Shooters, who include, Thomas (Cory Knauf), a psychic, Grant (Chris Yule), the technician who also provides the humor and some great one-liners, and finally Becky, the show presenter, to come and investigate the house where his sister died.

Patrick doesn’t tell the investigators anything about his sister as he’s sceptical about this sort of thing, however, after the cameras start recording paranormal activity and he witnesses possessed people first hand, Patrick soon changes his mind and starts believing. It appears as though some demon has an agenda and is determined to possess as many of them as possible, but the group are going to try to do what they can to prevent the demon from gaining a foothold.


This group of five are the main characters and focus for the demon when it strikes, but during the course of their investigation we meet some interesting people, like a creepy professor, hammed up brilliantly by Chris Devlin, who gives us the evil eye while talking into the camera. We also meet another victim of the demon, a young girl who is going through exactly what Patrick’s sister went through, who was played extremely well by Elise Eberle. I was impressed by Elise Eberle’s performance last year in Tiger Eyes, and here she demonstrates her acting chops once again.

The effects were particularly good, and when it came to using CGI, the fact that only a little was used really paid off. I’m a great believer in ‘less is more’ when it comes to CGI in films that don’t have a budget to play with, and find if they use only a touch in the right places, it’s far more effective. The gore was also great, but here they didn’t hold back, by using a knife in some imaginative and realistic ways. I was caught by surprise with the knife in eyeball scene and thought it worked wonderfully, certainly better than the second scene that included eyes having awful things done to them.

Director Mark Haber has done a good job with Chasing the Devil. The acting is great, the story is interesting and the gore and scares are very effective. If you like the found-footage genre, particularly the style of Paranormal Activity, this is a film you should see. Highly recommended.

Review by Nav Qateel