The Devil's Rock

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 9


Audience Score

User Ratings: 385
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Movie Info

Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day,two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler's forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.

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Matthew Sunderland
as Colonel Klaus Meyer
Craig Hall
as Captain Ben Grogan
Gina Varela
as Helena/Femme-Varou Demon
Karlos Drinkwater
as Sergeant Joseph Tane
Luke Hawker
as Private Muller

Critic Reviews for The Devil's Rock

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

  • By keeping the action confined to the tunnels and cells of the blockhouse, Campion creates a claustrophobic setting, but for all the gore and demonic transmogrification, there's a distinct lack of chills and frights.

    Jul 7, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Michael Hann

    Top Critic
  • Means well but ultimately lacks original thrills.

    Jul 7, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A low-budget but well-made horror flick that earns points due to two strong leads and some slick visual effects.

    Sep 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • For all its gore, The Devil's Rock is an undercooked chiller, but it cleverly uses the conventional tropes of diabolism to comment on the horrors of war.

    Jul 8, 2011 | Full Review…
  • This is far from original, but the claustrophobic setting and bloody prosthetic carnage should entertain undemanding horror fans.

    Jul 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Just another squelchy but unscary ritual of blood, guts and generic mumbo-jumbo.

    Jul 6, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Devil's Rock

  • Nov 23, 2012
    Effective and thrilling New Zealand horror film that has a very idea for its plot. This is among the better genre films that have come out from New Zealand in quite some time. The film has very good acting, a good plot, good effects and effective directing that keeps the material engaging despite it's slow pace. Director Paul Campion delivers a film that should appeal to diehard horror hounds and it is a fun, entertaining flick that has such effective, chilling moments that it is refreshing to see films like this to come out once in a while to remind horror fans that there are still great horror filmmakers out there making quality horror titles. The Devil's Rock is a must see film, and it delivers some great performances and has some awesome special effects which should please gore fans everywhere. Add to that, that director Campion uses his ideas as a message about the horrors of war and how no one wants to go through that. This is terrific filmmaking and one of the most memorable low-budget horror titles in quite some time. The Devil's Rock is a standout film that manages to overcome such imperfections such as budgetary constraints to create something that looks great on-screen and is a well constructed picture from start to finish. Expect something different, but very well done, and if you're tired of the same old remakes, this film may give you that entertaining factor that you want out of a horror film. This is not perfect, but it nonetheless manages to be a well made piece of low-budget horror cinema that is the best New Zealand horror film ever. A must see for genre fans.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2012
    <B><I>THE DEVIL'S ROCK</I> (2011 - New Zealand)</B> WRITTEN BY: Paul Finch, Brett Ihaka, Paul Campion DIRECTED BY: Paul Campion FEATURING: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela, Karlos Drinkwater, Luke Hawker, Jessica Grace Smith, Nick Dunbar GENRE: <B>OCCULT, HORROR</B> TAGS: drama, adventure, thriller RATING: 7 PINTS OF BLOOD PLOT: <B>Two opposing soldiers force an uneasy alliance as they struggle with the conundrum of how to control a manacled, captive demon in this offbeat occult thriller by special effects artist Paul Campio.</B> COMMENTS: With efforts like Dead Snow, and Below, I thought I had had my fill of supernatural WWII movies. I groaned when I read the description for The Devil's Rock. The premise sounded ridiculous. Wow! Was I ever wrong about this movie. The idea works! Not only do the filmmakers execute the premise in a fresh way, but the movie kept me on the edge of my seat, suitably entertained, creeped-out, and wondering what would come next from start to finish. While several action sequences are framed by a lot of dramatic discourse, the dialogue is all relevant and credible, creating an atmosphere of uneasiness and mounting dread while moving the plot along at a steady pace. A solid historical WWII backdrop frames the setting for this horrifying adventure/thriller in which two two Kiwi (i.e. New Zealand) commandos, Grogan (Hall) and Tane (Drinkwater) infiltrate a Nazi-occupied Channel Islands fortress to sabotage its artillery emplacements. From the start though, something is clearly amiss. Plaintive shrieks fill the air, emanating from the enemy stronghold as if its occupants are engaged in some kind of horrific torture. The compound is eerily deserted and then the Allied duo starts to find freshly mutilated bodies of German soliders -lots of them. Beyond The Devil's Rock's accurate historical context, it turns out the Nazis were conducting research into the occult in an attempt to find a strategic military advantage. Boy did they ever succeed! The Nazi colonel in charge, Meyer (Sunderland), used a book of black magic to raise a demon, one with enough power to easily be used as a weapon of mass destruction. But the dilemma? -how to contain the malevolent abomination so the plan doesn't backfire. The demon is a crafty, devious shapeshifter (really, are there any other kind?) and it seems the Nazis have a tiger by the tail. A hungry one as it turns out because the demon has slaughtered and eaten the entire crew except for the colonel who has finally managed chain the beast up while by protecting himself with a talisman. As if the German commander didn't have his hands full enough trying to put the genie back in the bottle, Meyer must defend against the two commandos. He kills Tane and captures Grogan, who he must now convince to help him. A chunk of the plot revolves around these two mutual enemies alternately attempting to kill and trust one another until exigence compels them to confront their mutual predicament logically This entails discursively reckoning their respective goals and why they hate each other with a good dose of exigent pragmatism. While the drama of their ensuing dialectic could easily be the stuff of stage plays, it doesn't create pretentious drama, cause the tension to lag, or the story to drag. Grogan and Meyer agree to cooperate to send the demon (Varela) back to hell. It's a two man job and involves some black magic. But the demon has other designs, which include satiating herself on human entrails and achieving spontaneous climaxes from any bloodletting she can provoke between Grogan and Meyer while subverting their agreement. Terrifying, but hellishly beautiful and nude, she alternately assumes the form of Grogan's dead wife Helena, as she attempts to seduce him and derail any attempt to vanquish her. The Devil's Rock holds its own with three effective plot twists, competent acting, convincing dialogue replete with relevant historical references, and most of all, with memorably creative makeup effects and lots of gore. In fact, one of the first comments by the filmmakers on the induced DVD commentary is lament for not being able to budget even more blood. With the plethora of oozing entrails and splatter already in the film, I think they did just fine. The Devil's Rock is a rare gem to find in a direct-to-DVD release: a well-shot, captivating, suspenseful horror film with a good plot and its gruesomeness not overdone, but still dripping with gore. I gleefully give it an equally dripping Seven Pints Of Blood rating.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2012
    The Devil's Rock is a bloody little horror movie that I really enjoyed. The link between the occult and Nazis has been explored many time in horror movies, but I've never seen it done quite the way it's seen here. The setting is an island in the English Channel, shortly before D-Day. Two soldiers from New Zealand sneak onto it on a mission to blow up a Nazi anti-aircraft gun. The pair are lured deeper into the bunker by the screams of a woman after completing their task, and stumble upon a true horror. The Devil's Rock has a small cast and is primarily set in one location, but those settings and characters are used very well. So are the practical special effects, which were pretty fantastic for a production this small. What I liked most about the movie was the pacing, which gradually ratcheted up the tension until I was almost squirming by the end. This isn't the kind of flick that relies on jump scares and loud noises to get your heart thumping. Instead it layers on the menace and foreboding. As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed it. If you're the kind of horror fan who gets a kick out of a good demon story and likes the more low-key, atmosphere and character-driven approach, definitely give this a try.
    Lewis C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2012
    Given that New Zealand is such a small film market, at least in comparison with the wealth of content cinemas have available to them from abroad, the number of homegrown films which see a wide release is unfortunately small. It shouldnâ(TM)t be a reflection on the quality of local film, just simply the reality of existing in a business so completely dominated by Hollywood. Which is why itâ(TM)s so disappointing when one of the precious few slots allocated to NZ films is filled by something like The Devilâ(TM)s Rock, a derivative, achingly slow horror masquerading as revisionist history. The concept is not essentially a bad one, yet itâ(TM)s handled in such a clumsy fashion that it makes one despair for the state of our national cinema if this is among the best that our filmmakers can do. Playing out on an understandably small scale, The Devilâ(TM)s Rock runs with the oft speculated idea that during World War II, Nazis were researching and conducting experiments that dabbled in the occult, and in this case have summoned a demon to a small, uninhabited island in the English Channel. Thereâ(TM)s potentially interesting ideas here, but director Paul Campionâ(TM)s attempts to build the suspense necessary for a film of this type reduce the pacing to a crawl, and what should be creepy and unsettling ultimately ends up being painfully boring. The performances donâ(TM)t do the film any favours either, with particularly disappointing work from Matthew Sunderland (Out of the Blue), whose baffling attempt at an accent leads to much confusion about who is who, and what his motivation is. Before descending completely into the cheap Exorcist knock-off that it threatens to become, The Devilâ(TM)s Rock admittedly has an unexpected and welcome twist, although itâ(TM)s best not to consider the implications of what the film is suggesting in any kind of historical sense. The most successful New Zealand films tend to stick to well defined and culturally specific stories, but sadly, in trying to branch out into genre filmmaking, The Devilâ(TM)s Rock fails to deliver anything more than cheap, direct-to-video level mediocrity.
    Mark R Super Reviewer

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