The Devil's Rock

The Devil's Rock


Reviewed by: Robert Munro

Nazis make pretty handy horror movie villains. A cursory look across the European Nazi horror landscape from the past couple of years throws up several examples. Unfortunately, The Devil’s Rock, has neither the humour of Dead Snow or the genuine dread of Outpost. At least it’s not half as vile and unpleasant as Frontiers though.

Two Kiwi Allied soldiers are on a secret mission to a Nazi base on one of the Channel Islands. Their aim is simple: destroy the Nazi gun embattlements and distract attention from the forthcoming D-Day invasion. However, upon arrival, the tortured screams of a woman provoke the hardier of the two soldiers to enter the tunnels of the Nazi base. The terror begins. Well, sort of.

Copy picture

Upon encountering Nazi bodies strewn carelessly around the tunnels and bunkers of the base like paper hats after a Christmas party, Ben (Craig Hall) encounters the eloquent high-ranking Nazi Klaus (Matthew Sunderland) who appears to run the base. Of course, things aren’t as simple as they seem. Klaus is, in fact, harbouring a powerful daemon (the screaming woman) whose power he hopes to unleash on the allied forces.

The daemon starts to cause problems for Ben, appearing in the form of his ex-wife and soldier buddy, prompting him to join forces with Klaus in order to escape and survive the ordeal. Klaus turns out to be not that much of a bad guy Nazi (or is he?). Ben is the silent, stoical type with a ‘past’. Neither character is well rounded enough, and their interactions are too blunt to make us really hope for their survival.

As soon as the early, claustrophobic dread of the tunnels and chambers of the Nazi lair give way to the kind of predictable supernatural, ritualistic, witchcraft fare that blights much horror cinema, interest wanes. The film soon comes to rest on its central premise: who’s more evil, the Nazis or the Devil? This ‘She-Devil’ is kept at bay for a good while by a circle drawn on the floor with candles placed strategically around its radius, while Klaus blabbers some indecipherable Latin-like cult nonsense to return the beast to the bowels of the earth. Which is, quite frankly, a pretty lame second act.

The film continues to drift aimlessly until its unsatisfying, lethargic (yet expected) conclusion. That’s not to say that it isn’t well filmed (it is) and that the gore and special effects aren’t well handled (they are), but that’s simply not enough to maintain the suspense or provide enough jumps to really get the blood running cold. But, hey, at least it’s only 78 minutes long.

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2011
Share this with others on...
The Devil's Rock packshot
Allied soldiers take on a daemon-controlling Nazi.
Amazon link

Director: Paul Campion

Writer: Paul Finch, Paul Campion, Brett Ihaka

Starring: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela, Karlos Drinkwater

Year: 2011

Runtime: 86 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: New Zealand


Search database: