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Devil's Path

USA 2018
produced by
Steve Callahan, Jon Gale, Matthew Montgomery, Stephen Twardokus, Deborah Bashur (executive), John Scheve (executive) for Proteus Pictures
directed by Matthew Montgomery
starring Stephen Twardokus, JD Scalzo, Jon Gale, Michael Hampton, Steve Callahan, Spencer Kelly, Michael van Why, Brandy Elliott (voice), Mike Kiraly, Luis Lowenberg, Gary McDonald, Mason McGahan, John Scheve
written by Matthew Montgomery, Stephen Twardokus, music by Ceiri Torjussen, edited by Alan Rowe Kelly

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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On a hiking trail that also serves as a gay cruising area, Noah (Stephen Twardokus) stumbles upon Patrick (JD Scalzo), and the two take an immediate liking to each other - which is only marred when they notice they're after different things, Patrick just wants sex, Noah is looking for something deeper. So they pretty much decide to split when Noah, while taking a piss, is hit over the head by gay bashers, and when they show up again with obviously violent intentions, Noah and Patrick flee deep into the woods together - and eventually, they realize they're dependent on each other, as while Noah is in no state to make it out of the woods alone due to his head injury, he is the perfect guide to get the both of them to safety, what with his hiking experience and all the equipment he brought, while Patrick's more of an ignorant city boy. But when they have a heart-to-heart hiding out in a cave to catch some breath, it becomes apparent that their meeting wasn't at all a chance encounter: Noah's brother has only recently disappeared in exactly the woods they are in now, and eventually, Patrick has to admit he has had sex with Noah's brother in the area not too long ago, and might actually be the last person who has ever seen him. Thing is, Noah thinks Patrick had to do with his brother's disappearance and probable murder, and he wants to get the truth out of Patrick at all cost - but Patrick has a knife and knows how to use it, so the situation comes to a head soon ...

 

Deliberately laid back in pace, Devil's Path shows great skill in both narrative build-up and build-up of tension and suspense, and does very well to set up the story one way then veer off into a totally different direction without at all seeming forced or the like. Also, that the film never identifies a true hero or villain (especially the longer the confrontation between Noah and Patrick goes on) really works in its favour, making the story much more interesting and multi-layered. And of course, a wonderful location, a solid directorial effort, and a competent cast help to bring this movie to life.

 

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