I Trapped the Devil Poster

I Trapped the Devil (2019)

Drama | Horror | Mystery
Rayting:   4.8/10 2.5K votes
Country: United States
Language: English
Release date: April 26, 2019

A man descends into paranoia after trapping what he believes to be the devil in his basement, but things take a dark turn when his family unexpectedly arrive for Christmas.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

Reviews_of_the_Dead 8 January 2020

This was a film that I wanted to see earlier this year, but I couldn't catch it at the Gateway Film Center. The schedule just didn't align for it. Now I did get to see this as part of my year end round up and it doubled as a Christmas film as that's when it takes place. I was stoked to learn that AJ Bowen and Jocelin Donahue both are in it as well. The synopsis is a man descends into paranoia after trapping what he believes to be the Devil in his basement, but things take a dark turn when his family unexpectedly arrives for Christmas.

To start this out, we get a surreal scene of the police busting into a house. The door looks to be nailed shut with boards. It is in slow motion if my memory serves and it then cuts us to what leads to this happening. A married couple of Matt (Bowen) and Karen (Susan Burke) arrive at a house. It is snowy out and there's an eerie feel as the windows seem to be covered and blacked out. Matt forces his way in to find junk is blocking the door. Karen finds empty bullet casings in the snow as well.

The house belongs to Steve (Scott Poythress). It actually seems to be the old family home. The reason the couple came up is Steve is troubled. He hasn't handled the death of his wife very well and from what I gathered, it happened during a major accident at a train station. Steve tells them they can't be there and we know there's something not quite right.

He reveals what it is. Steve has a man locked in the basement behind a door with a cross on it and he's claiming the man is the Devil. We hear his voice, that of Chris Sullivan, pleading to be let out. Steve tries to convince Matt that what he's saying is real and shows an attic room where he has newspaper clippings and documents on the ceiling with lines of yarn connecting them.

The couple thinks that he's descending into madness due to the death of Sarah, his wife, as well as the isolation. The more they learn though, the more they start to think he might be telling at least some truths. Steve is also tormented with an old television that shows jumbled images of his wife, Jocelin Donahue, as well as receiving disturbing phone calls. The real questions are who is the man in the basement? And is Steve going crazy?

Now I briefly heard about this film and it really peaked my interest. It has a concept that I can really get down for. As I recapped, Steve thinks that he has the Devil trapped in his basement. His brother and his brother's wife are concerned that with the death of his wife and daughter, that he's going crazy. At first that is exactly what we're presented with. There are little subtle things as this progresses where we are starting to question whether Steve could be telling the truth and even the other two start to wonder as well.

The problem though becomes that this is an extremely slow movie. I dig slow-burns, but I think that this takes it a bit too far if I'm going to be honest. It is interesting as the runtime is at 82 minutes, so it should fly by. The problem that I had was that it really drug for me. The story is interesting, but we just get a lot of people standing around talking. Steve seeing his deceased wife on the old television is a good move. That was creepy and I didn't know what we were getting here. What I think they should have done was allow us to hear what he's getting over the phone. It wasn't as effective for me to just see his face as he's freaked out. There's just a long stretch of not enough happening

tchitouniaram 31 August 2019

Amazing concept,amateurish execution... I found the beginning is really unusual and interesting, all idea is great... But director went for a really slow conversation based continuation, with a lot of atmospheric but unnecessary and repetitive too slow and boring visual sequences...Good try,but to pull that kind of a movie off,you have to be on a level of one of the Great Directors...Giving 4 stars for a very nice story...The rest is not up to par...

Reviews_of_the_Dead 8 January 2020

This was a film that I wanted to see earlier this year, but I couldn't catch it at the Gateway Film Center. The schedule just didn't align for it. Now I did get to see this as part of my year end round up and it doubled as a Christmas film as that's when it takes place. I was stoked to learn that AJ Bowen and Jocelin Donahue both are in it as well. The synopsis is a man descends into paranoia after trapping what he believes to be the Devil in his basement, but things take a dark turn when his family unexpectedly arrives for Christmas.

To start this out, we get a surreal scene of the police busting into a house. The door looks to be nailed shut with boards. It is in slow motion if my memory serves and it then cuts us to what leads to this happening. A married couple of Matt (Bowen) and Karen (Susan Burke) arrive at a house. It is snowy out and there's an eerie feel as the windows seem to be covered and blacked out. Matt forces his way in to find junk is blocking the door. Karen finds empty bullet casings in the snow as well.

The house belongs to Steve (Scott Poythress). It actually seems to be the old family home. The reason the couple came up is Steve is troubled. He hasn't handled the death of his wife very well and from what I gathered, it happened during a major accident at a train station. Steve tells them they can't be there and we know there's something not quite right.

He reveals what it is. Steve has a man locked in the basement behind a door with a cross on it and he's claiming the man is the Devil. We hear his voice, that of Chris Sullivan, pleading to be let out. Steve tries to convince Matt that what he's saying is real and shows an attic room where he has newspaper clippings and documents on the ceiling with lines of yarn connecting them.

The couple thinks that he's descending into madness due to the death of Sarah, his wife, as well as the isolation. The more they learn though, the more they start to think he might be telling at least some truths. Steve is also tormented with an old television that shows jumbled images of his wife, Jocelin Donahue, as well as receiving disturbing phone calls. The real questions are who is the man in the basement? And is Steve going crazy?

Now I briefly heard about this film and it really peaked my interest. It has a concept that I can really get down for. As I recapped, Steve thinks that he has the Devil trapped in his basement. His brother and his brother's wife are concerned that with the death of his wife and daughter, that he's going crazy. At first that is exactly what we're presented with. There are little subtle things as this progresses where we are starting to question whether Steve could be telling the truth and even the other two start to wonder as well.

The problem though becomes that this is an extremely slow movie. I dig slow-burns, but I think that this takes it a bit too far if I'm going to be honest. It is interesting as the runtime is at 82 minutes, so it should fly by. The problem that I had was that it really drug for me. The story is interesting, but we just get a lot of people standing around talking. Steve seeing his deceased wife on the old television is a good move. That was creepy and I didn't know what we were getting here. What I think they should have done was allow us to hear what he's getting over the phone. It wasn't as effective for me to just see his face as he's freaked out. There's just a long stretch of not enough happening

jadavix 19 January 2020

I'm not the one to review "I Trapped the Devil", even though I just watched it. I just couldn't focus on it for very long. It's that whole "slow burn" approach which can be atmospheric and creepy but here, just isn't.

Part of the problem is the uncharismatic leads. They act their parts well but it's impossible to care about them. The movie gives you nothing to go on and expects you to care. I didn't.

What was it actually about? Nervous suburbanites have some guy trapped in the basement. I got that much from it. Even just thinking about that concept you can probably come up with a far more interesting story than what we have here.

I say skip it.

ops-52535 26 April 2019

I remember when i was young, my cousin was a heck of a ghost story teller, and i was scared to death many a time by his vivid descriptions of the stories., ''knock,knock,whos knocking on my door?'' and ''the blood is dripping nearby...'' kinda stuff.

well this story is called ''i trapped the devil in my basement'' ,is duely a good description of what takes place, but not the way you and i think of it. its the good old description on punishment, prescribed by preachures,,priests,teachers and great grand fathers from ancient times till today. so when the twist is released in the end its marely just a children ghoststory told, just lastng 86 minutes instead of 3.

it is a great dissapointment allover. you feel like being in the amsterdams red light district, and the red light makes you believe they are processing the rawfilm the old fashioned way at the same time as the filming happens.

what kept me watching was the super creepy music that hangs on at all times. so be clever and not care.its not a good film thinks the old grumpy man.

TheLittleSongbird 12 August 2019

Actually really wanted to like 'I Trapped the Devil'. It looked like it would halfway-creepy. Have a thing for good concepts, and this was one of the better and more interesting concepts for any recently released un-cinematic film. Also do highly appreciate the horror genre of all decades, speaking as somebody who has always tried to be encouraging and balanced with a diverse film/television taste of all genres and decades.

Unfortunately 'I Trapped the Devil' left me very disappointed. Part of me is starting to lose faith in seeing films that immediately grab me with a good or more idea and expecting much, due to having found myself being really let down by far too many wastes of potential in the past year or so. Films/television of all genres, decades and regardless of budget, it is not restricted to just one group. If there is one thing that annoys me to no end when and after watching a film is when it has a lot going for it, or at least one thing, and does very little and many times even nothing with little or any of it.

'I Trapped the Devil' is not without its decent points. The basic set up is quite neat, with the film starting relatively promisingly and the take on the devil was interesting.

The production values look pretty reasonable, the camera work did have atmosphere, the editing was at least coherent and the lighting suitably grim.

Sadly that is pretty much it. The cast mostly phone in, struggling to do anything with very flimsily developed and dull characters and a far too talk heavy script that just rambles with little to it and not going very far. Then there is Scott Poythress, while credit is slightly due for trying to give Steve some motivation somewhat that doesn't stop Poythress from playing the role rather obnoxiously and like he came from another film. The direction is okay on the style but fails to bring up much dread.

Suspense, dread and tension are just not there and the middle act even for a slow burn drags endlessly with very little going on. Have nothing against slow burns as long as there are things that still intrigue or done well and when there is a reason for it, 'I Trapped the Devil' does none of that and that makes it less excusable. When anything goes on, it is very bland and too much of it especially towards the end doesn't make sense. The conclusion is just baffling and not many people after watching the film will not find themselves confused by it.

On the whole, weak. 3/10

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