HIM (Movie Review)

Where would one expect the devil to feast on the souls of the mortals? In an old, spooky mansion, in a castle, the sewers or catacombs? Of course not, as those are all clichés. Since all businessmen and capitalism in general are pure evil, the devil does reside in an abandoned warehouse, at least according to Him, directed by Luis Antonio Rodriguez (Barrio Gangsters 2009, Maria Del Norte 2012). Originally titled The Devil’s Warehouse and written by Humberto Bocanegra, HIM makes its way to DVD on April 24, 2018, thanks to Wownow. So, is it a worthy addition to the old Horror film collection?

HIM still.

In present day Texas, the owner of a company, Mr. Pearson (Paul Westbrook: Maria Del Norte 2012, Bordel Cartel 2016), is struggling to maintain his business due to his workers being unwilling to return to their employment. This is due much in part to the fact that they believe the warehouse to be haunted: mysterious dolls are placed everywhere, they hear children crying and boxes are moving without any plausible reason. Since he is unable to pay his bills, Mr. Pearson’s car is repossessed and he continues to have horrible nightmares about a crying girl roaming his house.

After several months of paranormal activity, nobody wants to set a foot into the warehouse anymore and as the last day of his lease comes, Mr. Pearson wants to take one last glance at what was once his dream. Here, he encounters his former business partners and one of the devil’s disciples (Rapper Ill Tactics in his debut as an actor), arguing about the deal they had agreed on. After returning home, still pondering about his failed attempts running his company, Mr. Pearson is surprised by yet another repossession agent, demanding him to leave his home, as he could not pay his mortgage anymore.

Later, as a young couple trying to make-out in the parking lot gets dragged and killed in the demonic warehouse, a team of six paranormal investigators drive to the crime scene to investigate the reason for the gruesome murders. Typically, they do not know what awaits them.

HIM still.

Also produced by Humberto Bocanegra, mostly known for writing the scripts for 2005’s Trajecto and 2012’s Maria Del Norte, Him keeps its title’s promises: the devil is in an abandoned warehouse here. This is unfortunately the most positive aspect of a film with basically little to impress its audience. Throughout the whole 80-minute runtime of the movie, the choice of sounds effects and songs is very confusing and never really fits the moods of the scenes shown. Even though boom microphones are shown in the behind-the-scenes shots after the credits roll, it never sounds as if they were used; it is really difficult to understand the dialogue, while the music and sound effects are unnecessarily loud.

Besides these sound issues, HIM offers mostly stiff and unbelievable performances by its cast, with the exception being the warehouse’s senior security guard played by Jason Cabell, known for his roles in 2016’s Smoked Filled Lungs and 2017’s No Need To Take Me Home. Unfortunately, he does not have enough screen-time to enhance the movie’s acting overall.

Of course, a film may still be enjoyable and entertaining despite the aforementioned flaws if it has a strong plot, but this is actually Him‘s biggest weakness; not only does it fail to leave an impression, it is also incoherent and confusing. The introductory first 25 minutes could have been left out, as the role of Mr. Pearson, clearly the lead character in this act, is never mentioned again and this adds nothing to the overall story; in fact, background explanations are given in great-length during the remaining 55 minutes of the film’s runtime. Ultimately, this leaves the impression the introduction was only shot to extend the runtime to feature length.

HIM still.

Summing up, HIM does fit into the long line of films about possessed places, however, it cannot keep up compared to classics such as 1979’s Amityville Horror. Having uninspired and boring actor performances, a plot with many holes, and lacking a real leitmotif and unbelievable dialogue, HIM is neither a scary movie nor is it entertaining. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives it 1 out of 5 stars.


Purchase HIM:

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