Devil’s Knot: Review

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Based on a true story, Devil’s Knot takes a look into the murders of three young children in 1993 Arkansas and the subsequent trail of three “goths”, blamed for the murder due to their fascination with the occult.

Films like this are always difficult to get right, having to get the balance between fact and fiction. They’re not made for entertainment as such, because at the end of the day these things happened. It’s essential then that there’s a point to be made by the film, but unfortunately for Devil’s Knot, I don’t think there is.

It is a story that deserves to be told, essentially a modern-day witch trail that raises questions about film, music and literature and the effect it can have on a person. All of the themes are there but the film doesn’t really explore them enough to warrant its existence.

It plays like an extended crime watch re-construction but with a really good cast, and there’s nothing particularly visually interesting about it either. Add to that the fact that there’s a whole ending missing to it, and I couldn’t help but feel completely deflated when I left the screen. This is understandably down to the fact that the case itself has never really had an ending, but even some kind of resolution within the characters would have been nice.

The drama doesn’t work despite the best efforts of the cast, and the film is at it’s best when presenting us with the case. Therefore I can’t help but think that reading a book or watching a documentary about the same thing would probably be a much more satisfying experience.

Despite its harrowing moments depicting the dead children being found, Devil’s Knot is actually a tepid thriller lost in what it’s trying to achieve. A worthwhile story but one better found elsewhere.




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