The Devil's Chair Adam Mason

The Devil's Chair Adam Mason
I first saw The Devil’s Chair at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and went around telling all my horror-loving friends about it. Unfortunately, The Devil’s Chair was never widely released in theatres and I grew worried that nobody would ever see this intelligent and entertaining horror movie. Thankfully the film has been released on DVD and horror fans will get a chance to tear open the narrow gore porn knife wound that has stagnated the genre for the last few years. When Nick (Andrew Howard) and girlfriend Sammy (Polyanna Rose) decide to drop some acid while exploring an abandoned mental hospital, they discover a strange chair adorned with human bones. As the drugs kick in things turn strange and the chair traps Sammy. Hours later, Nick comes out of his hallucinatory state and finds himself covered in blood with no sign of his girlfriend. Charged with murder, Nick spends the next several years in a mental facility only to be released into the custody of a doctor who wants to perform a psychological experiment on him in the place where his psychotic break took place. Writers Adam Mason and Simon Boyes don’t sacrifice story in favour of body count, with a smart, thought provoking script leaving the viewer off kilter and never sure what to expect. By the modern standards of hyper-violent torture porn movies (Hostel, Turistas, Saw), The Devil’s Chair is slow-paced, with the story building up to a blood and guts finale rather than subjecting the audience to a relentless and mind numbing blood bath for the entire length of the film. The end result is that The Devil’s Chair does what scary stories are supposed to do: scare. Like a Technicolor campfire tale told by a psychopath, the film draws you in and waits until you are comfortable before it hits you with the horror. Mason and Boyes understand that fear doesn’t come from some special effects gross out, that buckets of blood are just one type of paint for the horror movie canvas. To really scare an audience you have to alter their perspective and make them question their experience. The special features are more interesting than the average film, with a "making of” documentary that gets very personal, with director Adam Mason talking about the events of his life while making the film, as well as explaining a number of changes made during post-production to make the film much more disturbing to watch. Anyone looking for a horror movie for the Halloween season should look no further than The Devil’s Chair. (Sony)