Today we’re talking The Devil’s Tomb, a movie that asks some downright unsettling questions. The really interesting part is, only a handful of them are actually related to the movie. I know—I’m being all cryptic again, but that’s what keeps you guys interested! I’m willing to CHALLENGE you!
Anyway, The Devil’s Tomb is a movie about a small squad of elite military sent in to ascertain what happened to an archaeological project that went silent out in the Middle East. As they plunge into the depths of the project facility, they steadily learn more about what was taking place there—including a special sub-branch that was dealing with an evil more ancient and more powerful than anything ever before seen by man.
I know, the plot sounds pretty simple, but one thing is abundantly clear—there’s more horror and action and thrills and terror in here than I’ve seen generated by one movie in a good long time.
Part of it comes from a slew of actors easily at the top of their game in this kind of affair. For instance, we’ve got Zack Ward, who was just in this kind of thing with Postal. We’ve also got Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman, and punk rock legend Henry Rollins. But that’s not the end of the list; for some strange reason that I wouldn’t even want to speculate on, they’ve got Cuba Gooding Jr. in here. Yeah, Academy Award winning Cuba Gooding Jr. Of course, this is the same Cuba Gooding Jr. that was in Snow Dogs, so take that for what it’s worth.
The rest comes from a solid, basic appreciation of horror convention interspersed with action. This is an excellent—one of the few such, really—example of an action / horror hybrid. It’s just that good to watch. The effects are highly realistic, if a bit on the gooshy side as is standard for this sort of affair. The plot is straightforward, if simplistic, and the performances are all at the very least solid.
But like I said before, it raises questions. I know this is a Sony project, but still—how did they get this many choice actors this interested in a direct to video project? And how they got an Academy Award winner to star in a direct to video project isn’t the biggest one. No, the biggest one is its possible, suggested connection to a video game, Clive Barker’s Jericho. If you take a look at the two, you start finding a whole lot of similarities in characters, plot and setting. In fact, if you start changing a few small details around in one, you actually start getting the other. But this is little more than a nifty aside—the movie is significantly better than the game could ever hope to be.
Basically, The Devil’s Tomb is a tense, hyperkinetic affair with plenty of thrills and action for all. If you like just one of the two, then this will make an excellent bridge to discovering the other. Eminently watchable and plenty of fun, The Devil’s Tomb is, in this sense, worth checking out.