Devil's Due/Photo Copyright 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
The devil may be in the details, but he also spends a hell of a lot of time in movie theaters. The Wicked One will be belly deep in dark mischief once again when “Devil’s Due,” a found-footage thriller about an increasingly disturbed pregnancy, opens Friday, January 17.
With a fresh year of horror films rolling out, remakes of “Poltergeist,” “The Birds,” and “Rosemary’s Baby” (the blasphemy!) on the way, and “Devil’s Due” about to possess theaters, now’s as good a time as any to remind ourselves of all the tricks the Deceiver’s already pulled on us. Here’s a look at some our favorites.
The Devil's Due: 5 Depictions of the Devil On Screen | Word and Film: The Lineup
Roman Polanski's faithful adaptation of Ira Levin's ghoulish fable about a struggling actor who sells his soul in exchange for allowing the Horned One to knock up his poor, fragile wife (wispy Mia Farrow) is, along with "The Exorcist," one of the two pillars of classic modern horror. Watch for Farrow's reaction to seeing her child for the first time.
Best satanic line: "He has his father's eyes."
William Peter Blatty adapted his own book into a film, directed by William Friedkin, which still has the power to terrify. A pre-teen girl is possessed by the devil and does profane battle with two ill-equipped priests. Watch for . . . well, any of it, really. Though the "spider walk" moment restored to the 2000 version is pretty indelible.
Best satanic line: "Your mother's in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it."
These damned kids! The ambassador and his doomed wife played by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick in this pitch-black creepshow are eventually forced to confront the fact that their spooky little five-year-old son Damien isn't merely "going through a phase." He's the Antichrist. Watch for the moment Peck opens the grave of Damien's real "mother."
Best satanic line: "Wrong? What could be wrong with our child, Robert? We're beautiful people, aren't we?"
John Updike penned this fun little parable about a trio of small-town women who conjure the man of their dreams. Guess who shows up? Major points for the juicy casting, with Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon engaging in an amusing battle of the sexes with Jack Nicholson. Watch for the funny-gross cherries incident and the tennis game.
Best satanic line: "Do you think God knew what He was doing when He created woman?"
This adaptation of Stephen King's cheeky 1991 novel features Max von Sydow as Leland Gaunt (aka Beelzebub), the elderly proprietor of a new store in Castle Rock, Maine, that somehow always has just the thing any customer most wants. The catch is in the payment — and the Devil really knows how to haggle. Watch for J.T. Walsh’s epic meltdown.
Best satanic line: "The young carpenter from Nazareth? I know him well. Promising young man. He died badly."