The Device is written and directed by Jeremy Berg (The Invoking, Trauma) and essentially wants to be a tale of alien abduction, which is a bit difficult without any of the interesting stuff. To say it was inspired by alien abduction cases may be giving it too much credit, I’m not sure inspired is a word I can apply to this.
The Device tells us the story of sisters Abby (Angela DiMarco – Trauma, By God’s Grace) and Rebecca (Kate Alden – The Darker Path, The Right Place), who were estranged many years before following the alleged kidnapping and rape of Rebecca by her then boyfriend. The actual reason why this caused the family to separate is rather vague to say the least, but separate they did.
The sisters come together for the first time since in order to disperse their mother’s ashes at the cabin by the lake that they used to spend their summer holidays in. They also bring along Abby’s husband Calvin (David S. Hogan – Shadowed, Trauma). Ironically (and a bit weirdly I thought), this is also the place from which Rebecca was abducted. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen?.
Unsurprisingly, Rebecca totally wigs out on the first morning and runs off into the woods so that Abby has to go looking for her. Just nearby, she spots what looks like the site of an aeroplane crash. She digs about a bit (as you do) and unearths what they describe as a device, but which looks to me more like a giant ball bearing, although that may be slightly beyond the budget in terms of special effects, it could have been a spray painted satsuma.
Even though Rebecca is totally against the idea of them having anything to do with the Device, and even after it attacks Abby and Calvin by stabbing them in the hand, they make the decision to take it with them, first back to the cabin and then when they leave, back to their house. Genius, these guys.
Unsurprisingly, things begin to go downhill somewhat after that. Abby learns the “shocking” truth behind Rebecca’s attack, Calvin begins to go a bit funny in the head and Abby starts having very realistic dreams of men in wibbly rubber suits, a.k.a. aliens, visiting her in her bedroom accompanied by a bright white light. Is history repeating itself and will they be strong enough to see it through this time?
I can see what they are trying to achieve here, a more subtle and sensitive approach to the subject of alien abduction, however it doesn’t really work. There is too much emphasis on character development with a script and acting performances which are unfortunately not up to the job. Some alien action (as implied by the cover) may have helped to alleviate the boredom somewhat, although even that wouldn’t have made me feel scared, or even slightly worried, by a ball bearing.
Not great this, there are plenty of much better films in this genre out there that you can spend your well earned cash and precious time on.
The Device is available to buy on DVD from 23rd March 2015.