Watching this movie a second time was very feasible. I understood the plot more better and I liked the movie better as well. If you really watch and pay attention to the movie, you will see that it has a strong plot that makes since. I think people don't like this movie because it was hardly any gore and it was kind of slow moving, but again, just pay attention to the plot it is a good move. *** 1/2 out of *****
The Devonsville Terror
The Devonsville Terror
Keywords: witch revenge curse witch hunt
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As a consequence of its barbaric persecution of three 'witches,' long ago, a rural township is afflicted with a vengeful curse. Acutely aware of its existence, a local physician attempts to study its history through the hypnotic past-life regression of town descendants. Once again, three women, new-arrivals from out-of-town, seem to be threatening the status quo. Are the women doomed to suffer from this town's terrible legacy?—mdw
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
March 16, 2023 at 11:58 PM
Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
I actually liked this movie after...
Probably my favorite 'witch' movie
Director Ulli Lommel this time created the idea of three women back in 1683 who are arrested for crimes that they obviously did not commit and are sentenced to death in three different gruesome ways which I will not describe (watch it!) Then the movie goes three hundred years into the present (1983) where in the town of Devonsville, there are all of the sudden three young beautiful women who mysteriously arrive to the town. This town is your average small-town where everyone knows your name 'cheers' style. Lommel does capture that small-town feel very successfully and I found myself drawn into the complex web of ignoramuses inhabiting this town. The only smart one in my opinion was Dr. Worley (Donald Pleasance), Pleasance always provides an utterly fantastic performance in any work he does and he didn't let up in this movie. The ending is a perfectly blatant ripoff or homage if you will, of the Raiders of the Lost Ark. You would think Lommel would pay homage to another slasher flick but oh well. Otherwise this movie wasn't too bad, Suzanna Love is great as always but I wasn't to keen about her short hair, what do I know? It was 1983 and I guess that was the big 'thing' then. Witch fans will love this flick no doubt. Peace
Surprisingly fun '80s witchcraft romp
"The Devonsville Terror" focuses on a small town in New England where three women perceived to be witches were executed in 1683. 300 years later, a mysterious woman, Jenny (Suzanna Love) arrives in town as the new school teacher. She seems to be a student of the feminist movement, which doesn't sit well in these parts. Little has changed in Devonsville— the one room schoolhouse has a class of about 20 kids and still has a fireplace, and the people still seem to have retained a colonial mindset. The arrival of two other women (a scientist and a female sex radio host) gets the townsmen riled up and curious as to whether or not the witches have returned reincarnated. Meanwhile, a doctor (Donald Pleasance) spends all of his screen time pulling worms out of his arm and studying a curse bestowed on his family linked back to the executions.
I'm not even going to get into Uli Lommel's filmography of the past decade because it truly is that bad, but I will stand up for him on two counts, because he did make two decent horror films in the '80s: this, and "The Boogeyman" (1980). "The Devonsville Terror" plays out like a Halloween TV movie of the week and draws from historical occurrences such as the Salem witch trials. Because of this, the script is actually pretty informed and intelligent in terms of logistics. It's a Lommel film, so some coherence has either been lost in editing or was never entirely present to begin with, but overall it's a mostly cohesive picture.
It's obvious from the get-go that this film's thematics are rooted in feminism, and it acts as a reiteration of the modern issue of cultural progress vs. tradition, which, for a horror film, is a bit sophisticated. All three of the modern female characters who enter the town represent three things that much of conservative America fears: feminism, sexuality, and science. That alone sets this film apart for me and elevates it above most horror fodder. Thematically, this film is far elevated above what it need be.
As for the horror— it's not scary. There are a few spooky shots and some really cool camera-work (the kaleidoscopic flashback shots of the witch executions are the things horror classics are made of), but I'd say it's more atmospheric than anything. It has the autumnal New England setting down to a tee, and is a perfect October/November watch. The opening scene in the film where the witches are executed is perhaps the best scene in the film, and really sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Not only is it well shot, but it's also well acted and actually still fairly shocking.
The acting in the film is not great, but is good. Suzanna Love plays the vulnerable, educated schoolteacher and has a gentleness that juxtaposes nicely with the harsh, judgmental nature of the townsfolk who seem to be against her. Donald Pleasance has little screen time and spends all of it in a single setting pulling worms out of his arms (which is apparently the result of a curse by the witches tracing back through his paternal lineage), but he's a pleasure to watch as always.
Overall, "The Devonsville Terror" is a shocker for those who thought Uli Lommel never made a decent film. This is not a bad movie. It's actually on par or even above average as far as '80s horror goes, and it is a thematically sophisticated genre film. Not only is it well made, but it's also plain fun to watch. Definitely not something just anyone would enjoy, but if you like your witches and ghouls served '80s TV movie style, then "The Devonsville Terror" is prime pickings. 7/10.