Film Review: The Devil to Pay

mother and son

The ancient Appalachian Mountains run all the way from Newfoundland in Canada to Alabama in the United States of America. The remoteness and inaccessibly of the range has made it a perfect hideout for many people looking to get off the grid, lay-low or evade the prying eyes of the authorities over the years. Local eco-systems have sprung up around some of these characters and families. In places which essentially have their own ‘laws’. This is the backdrop to The Devil to Pay.

Living in an isolated Appalachian community, Lemon Cassidy (Danielle Deadwyler) is painfully aware of the local pecking order. They’re struggling to make ends meet and living off the harsh and unforgiving land. When her husband disappears, she fears the worst. This is confirmed after being summoned by the matriarchal head (Catherine Dyer) of the most powerful family in the area. She must complete his task in order to protect herself and her son.

The Devil to Pay is a taut and sinewy thriller which demonstrates that there’s nothing more dangerous than a mother protecting her child. Lane and Ruckus Skye’s film works so well because it focuses on Danielle Deadwyler’s brilliant and irrepressible lead performance. She’s an unstoppable divine force which propels events forwards and God help anyone who gets in her way. The Devil to Pay is compact filmmaking at its best.

The Devil to Pay is released on Digital platforms in the UK on 17 January.

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