Satan and heavy metal have for years been linked to each other. Sean Byrne's latest film makes sure that that link remains strong as he dangles the concept of satanic control in with a soundtrack heavy on Slayer, Machine Head, Goya, Ghost and other heavy metal groups. You could almost say that it is a mostly a metal video with some horror tossed in.


The music, along with the always dark set, and garbled chanting presumably by Satan himself, help make this low budget indy worth watching. It opened at the 2015 Toronto Film Fest during the festival's Midnight Madness segment and has played at the various film festival horror/fantasy for the last two years. The original running time was around 90 minutes, but Byrne dummied it down for a non-festival release by deleting a few of humorous lines that only metal rockers would get.


That's one of the good things about the film in fact, it pushes the pulsating rock into the background (barely) while we get to know the characters and try to figure out the satanic plot.

Ethan Embry is cast as Jesse, a starving artist with wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) and daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) living in or near Austin Texas. he and his daughter share a love for metal which somewhat drives mom nuts. Whatthey need to find their mojo is a new home; like the one that recently became available.


The house is introduced to the audience in an extremely dark scene at the outset of the film. In the scene, two people die with references to insane asylums and voices. It seems, the couple killed were the proud parents of Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), their oversized and loony tunes son.


After Jesse and his family move in, he is almost immediately haunted by the voice of Satan. This satanic voice will start to guide his painting as he creates a large scale painting - featuring devil stuff. All the while Ray is lurking nearby waiting to enact some service for the devil that involves young Zooey.


There is a good amount of suspense as we wait to find out the what and the why of Ray's service to the devil. But what we do learn rather quickly is that heavy metal rock helps ease Ray's anxieties as Satan is in a non-stop conversation with him.


Embry is adequate as a Jesus-looking father who is being tempted by the devil. Pruitt Vince is perfect as the crazy guy; he has tons of experience and the rest of the cast contributes accordingly.


"The Devil's Candy" is a well crafted low budget thriller that won't scare your socks of, but does build a significant amount of tension and suspense with dark themes and heavy metal rock.   -- GEOFF BURTON