Bedeviled

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Bedeviled Movie Poster Image
Mediocre attempt to freshen up the slasher horror genre.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie has little to say other than urging people not to spend so much time on their mobile devices -- and certainly not to download any strange-looking apps.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The teen characters are self-sufficient (their parents and other adults don't seem to be around), but they're also fairly shallow most of the time. The movie is notable for having an African-American character as the lead male role, rather than as the clichéd "first victim" like in so many other horror movies.

Violence

Characters die (some are torn limb from limb). Monsters/scary clowns attack. Jump scares. A man punches another man; minor bloody nose.

Sex

Teens have sex; they're shown in bed, after the fact. Moaning can be heard on a phone, coming from a video filmed during the act. Other sex noises heard. Sexual innuendo, references to porn, etc.

Language

Multiple uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "d--k," "hell," "damn."

Consumerism

Samsung phones and televisions are shown. References to Facebook and Instagram.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to various types of pills/drugs: Molly, poppers, smack, etc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bedeviled is a horror movie about a supernatural serial killer who takes the form of a smartphone app. The movie has lots of scary images, jump scares, and killings (including dismemberment), and the deaths actually mean something here; characters are allowed to mourn their friends. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. Teens have sex, but nothing is seen -- viewers hear the sounds via a video on a phone -- though the characters are shown together in bed immediately following. The sex act is posted to Instagram, and there's some sex talk and sexual innuendo. Facebook is also mentioned, as are several pills and drugs (Molly, poppers, smack, etc.). The movie seems specifically targeted to teens -- adult characters aren't really around -- and even though it doesn't entirely succeed, it does try to break out of some old genre chestnuts (e.g., by having a lead male character who's African-American, rather than relegating characters of color to first-to-die status).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDee V. August 21, 2017

So disappointed

I couldn't believe I wasted 1 hr and 30 minutes for this movie. My kids told me they saw this in YouTube already and it was not good at all. I didn't... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byzinkke17 January 15, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaylaPayla November 18, 2017

Cheesy but okay I guess

Some parts are too bad to watch and not too good of acting but I like the plot

What's the story?

In BEDEVILED, Nikki (Alexis G. Zall) is mysteriously killed one night, leaving her five best friends -- Cody (Mitchell Edwards), Alice (Saxon Sharbino), Gavin (Carson Boatman), Haley (Victory Van Tuyl), and Dan (Brandon Soo Hoo) -- devastated. Soon after, they all receive invitations on their phones, from Nikki's phone, to download a new Siri-like app called "Mr. Bedevil." As soon as they download it, terrible things start happening. At first, it's just scary taunts, but things quickly escalate, from a homemade sex video being uploaded to Instagram to killer clowns appearing and tearing the kids limb from limb. Computer genius Cody must figure out how to catch the elusive app so that it can be deleted for good, but the only bait that will work is ... fear!

Is it any good?

Directed by brothers Abel and Burlee Vang, this horror movie looks great and busts open a few old genre chestnuts, but it's also predictable, bland, and not all that scary. Bedeviled features some strong cinematography, with lots of looming corridors lit by eerie glows. And, refreshingly, it features an African-American male in the lead role, rather than as the stereotypical/clichéd first victim (the character himself remarks on this unique quality). The movie even gives the teens time to mourn their friend, a necessary emotional response that's often forgotten in horror.

Moreover, Bedeviled is a great title, and it's clear that the Vang brothers wanted to start a new supernatural serial killer franchise to complement Freddy and Jason. But that's about where the excitement stops. Their Mr. Bedevil, marked by his red bow tie and clown smile, is more annoying than scary. And though the movie is clearly aimed at teens -- there are very few helpful or available adults around -- the characters are awkwardly written and rarely sound like actual people. It's an admirable attempt to rise above the murk of the slasher genre, and it almost succeeds, but then it sinks down again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Bedeviled's violence. How much is shown, and how much is implied? What impact do deaths have on the other characters? How does that compare to what you've seen in other horror movies?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies?

  • What does the movie have to say about the use of technology and social media? Do the characters use them responsibly?

  • How does the movie handle teen sex? Are the characters responsible? Respectful? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • What makes Cody's character atypical for a horror movie? How does his role subvert scary-movie stereotypes and clichés?

Movie details

For kids who love scares

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