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  • Rich

FrightFest Review: WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS

Updated: Feb 4

All in the family


I wasn't intending to write anything about Where the Devil Roams as it was one of the few films I wanted to sit and watch outside of any FrightFest coverage... so let's treat this as more of a 'musing' over my carnival-inspired breakfast.* I'd heard a lot about the Adams family, but up until yesterday hadn't had the opportunity to see any of their previous films, 2019's The Deeper You Dig and Hellbender.


I shall be fixing that.


WTDR... really infected me and when I unexpectedly bumped into eldest daughter Lulu Adams at The Phoenix Arts Club I had the pleasure of her sharing firsthand insight; to hear briefly (over the sheer volume of disco anthems) about how truly independent they are. Lulu is studious and completely switched on, and (to my understanding), although not always in front of the camera, is still an integral eye; the 'Nanny' of the family. There is (to my knowledge) no collective like them out there; her younger sister, Zelda, along with their parents — John Adams and Toby Poser — taking on the main roles, while also writing, directing, producing, editing... John also composing the music that demonstrates their crucial independence and reliance on each other.

Lulu Adams in the Adams family's second feature Hellbender from 2019

Where the Devil Roams is a delirious visual and audio experience that really taps into the weird origins of Americana as though they dug up Tod Browning and communed with that devilish director instead. The only way to sum up the film (without giving anything away) is to imagine a NIN music video made into a feature — all the poetry, the bite and texture — with an unforgettable final moment that (literally) stitches everything together. Trust me, go in blind (as I did) and you'll come out as though you've awoken to what film can really be outside of the mainstream and inside of a horror family.


*It was a full breakfast - the sausage (with that dab of tomato sauce) reminding me of something. Snip... snip.

The rest of the family: John Adams, youngest daughter, Zelda Adams, and Toby Poser






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