The Diabolical review

An unusual sci-fi horror that's a little lacking in jump scares but high on concept, The Diabolical is a pretty good watch.

the diabolical 2015 DVD packshotA single mother (Ali Larter) and her two young children are haunted by strange and hideous spectres in their home, which appear in a flash of light and stalk the inhabitants. When paranormal investigators are too afraid to help her, and financial worries mean that she is unable to move out, a mysterious science lab offers to buy her house in it’s plans to expand, but it all seems too good to be true.

This film has a lot of interesting back story. The husband became increasingly aggressive right before he died, perhaps due to some strange work he was engaged in. The son is seeing a social worker, who is concerned about his angry outbursts that have previously left a child severely hurt, but we can see that he is a good kid. What causes these strange aggressive actions.

The little girl talks to some of the strange visitants, which means that not all of them are bad, and one of them she even calls Daddy. And what exactly was the project that mother’s new scientist boyfriend (Arjun Gupta) was engaged in in the past? What’s the strange illness that effects those who try to leave the house? These are not loose ends, but feel more like threads that could be picked up in sequels, and it does feel like this film intends to have a further instalment.

And honestly, if it did I would probably watch it. I mean, this film didn’t scare the pants off me like traditional horrors might, but it did keep me guessing, trying to piece things together and asking questions. And it relied on story and character rather than cheap thrills and jump scares. And the twist at the end is pretty good, too. 

It’s just that with those story threads, you are left wanting a bit more. But it’s one to check out if you like your sci-fi horror movies.

EXTRAS: Just the UK Trailer, sadly.

Hermione Flavia is a Screenjabber contributor

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