What is the worst thing you would do you for your family? How far would you sink in order to provide for them? Devoured is about a woman trying to toe that line. Devoured follows Lourdes as she scrimps and saves, working long hours at an upscale restaurant in New York City to save up for her son’s operation. She begins seeing strange things—trash bags with restaurant scraps that suddenly seem to house bodies, apparitions of herself, disembodied hands, you name it. She desperately tries to make enough money to go back home to save her son before she truly goes insane. She winds up doing some pretty terrible things in the process.
Devoured is pretty creepy at times. There is a sense of disorientation that is captured really well. It’s easier to understand Lourdes’ psychosis because the spirit of the film itself is very hallucinatory. The film is shot in very cold tones, offset only by the vibrant colors of the food being prepared (which has a very opening-sequence-of-Dexter feel to it.) You’re thrown into a very claustrophobic world of the extremely un-impressive belly of the beast of an industrial looking kitchen. You feel how trapped Lourdes is, by both her job and her mental state. It is a dimly lit, grimy underground world that Lourdes is living in, and you have no choice but to experience it as Lourdes does. That is really the highlight of this film: the tone.
But, Devoured is yet another movie that is kind of ruined by its trailer, so I suggest not watching it. It definitely gives away the biggest “jump”-y moments in the film, which, for me, is always disappointing, because then you totally know what’s about to happen. I hate that. So, don’t watch the trailer.
There are some weird things about this flick, too. Lourdes is menaced by her psychopathic boss after Lourdes accidentally sees her sleeping with the chef (who, because he’s a great guy, is also sexually harassing Lourdes.) Her boss unequivocally explains what she will do to Lourdes if she ever sleeps with the chef. She’s absolutely insane, but her psychotic behavior comes across as trite at times. She’s kind of a stock character—the crazy over-possessive and obsessive chick. It does make you feel for Lourdes, though, because she’s really taking so much abuse from both genders, from anyone in an even remotely powerful position.
Devoured is a good (but not great) psychological thriller. It is a little predictable, but it’s not bad at all. It’s not the first movie you need to put on your “to-watch” list but I definitely think it is a great movie to watch on a rainy day. It has certainly got its merits. Check it out!
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