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  • Scarlet Witch

Where the Devil Roams

Written by, Directed by, and Starring: The Adams Family - John Adams, Toby Poser, and Zelda Adams (2023)


“When Abaddon the angel fell

He made his home in the depths of hell

Alone and full of dark despair

He defied the God who’d sent him there”

 

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A period-lite piece set in depression era America, Where the Devil Roams follows Seven, Maggie, and Eve, a family of circus sideshow performers, as they attempt to carve out their niche market within a traveling carny act. Known for their use of minimalism, in both form and function, Where the Devil Roams is The Adams family’s biggest endeavor yet. While very much so still an Adams Family arthouse film, they’ve expanded upon their stark, simplistic style by adding in a cast of extras, various sets and costumes, and some seriously gross practical effects. 

 

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“Know this, the Devil has his friends

The murders, thieves, the odds and ends 

The quiet and broken, the brutally flawed

Who sleep beneath the eyes of God”

 

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A slow burn in plot, but not in action, Where the Devil Roams moves along at a gruesome pace. This film is violent and in your face, forcing your gaze to the gore on the screen. The practical effects may be too realistic for those of you with delicate sensibilities. You’re probably not going to want a snack while you watch, but you SHOULD watch because holy shit, the cinematography is masterful. This film is stylistically moody; full of cold, muted colors - even the blood seems to run black. Playing with light and pops of vibrancy in a way that creates atmosphere in spades. 

And then there’s the music. The Adams Family’s real life band, H6LLB6ND6R, is once again responsible for the score. H6LLB6ND6R is everything I want from music. My only complaint is that their albums are too short, the soundtrack to Where the Devil Roams clocking in at just 16 minutes. The music is so stylistically at odds with the rest of the film, and yet it works brilliantly, creating something authentically unique. 


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“When the road is mean, blood will thicken 

The Devil’s pulse begins to quicken

While the body rots to dust and bones

There’s a tear in the heart, where the Devil roams”

 

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If I’m being honest, I didn’t love this movie as much as I wanted to, but I don’t think it’s the film’s fault. I wanted it to be Hellbender, and that’s not fair… to pit an entirely different film against my favorite release of the last few years. Regardless, that’s not to say Where the Devil Roams isn’t worth your time. It’s a beautifully filmed, clever, soulful, brutal little flick deserving of the praise it has found on the festival circuit. You should definitely watch this movie, and then immediately download the soundtrack!

 

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