“The Devil Lives Here” ( “O Diabo Mora Aqui”)
The Occult, Brazilian Folklore and Black Slavery
Ale (Mariana Cortines) and her boyfriend Jorge (Diego Goullart) are travelling to a massive house in the Brazilian countryside. With them is Jorge’s cousin Magu (Clara Verdier). They are going to visit their friend Apolo (Pedro Carvalho) at the remote location, where they’re planning to play an elaborate prank on Magu. Apolo’s house has a very real history of violence and mystery. The visit takes place on the anniversary of a great tragedy on this property. During the time when slavery was legal, the house was owned by the evil Honey Baron (Ivo Muller). On the very same day that the friends come to visit, the long-dead slave Bento (and victim of the Honey Baron) makes his annual return that is meant to keep the evil within the house at bay. Sebastiao and his younger brother Luciano are getting ready to perform the spiritual ritual their family has been tasked with every nine month for centuries. On the night the two groups meet, they find out that what they thought were stories are now very real and they have the job of stopping evil from taking over the world.
All comes together for a bloody, frightening and highly unusual evening and our young visitors soon find themselves in a place in the middle of a dangerous night when evil might rise again or be vanquished forever.
Directors Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio give us a movie where the acting is near perfect and the screenplay keeps us on the edge of our seats. The film is rooted in Brazilian folklore, which gives it a very individualistic quality. It is visually beautiful to watch and is filled with atmosphere. The gradual build-up might test patience but overall this is more than a film, it is an experience.
The film won Best Foreign Film at the 2016 FilmQuest.