The Diabolical

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

19%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 438
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Movie Info

When a single mother and her two young children are tormented by an increasingly strange and intense presence in their quiet suburban home, she turns to her scientist boyfriend to take on the violent forces that paranormal experts are too frightened to face.

Cast

Ali Larter
as Madison
Max Rose
as Jacob
Arjun Gupta
as Nikolai
Merrin Dungey
as Mrs. Wallace
Kurt Carley
as The Prisoner
Scott MacArthur
as Officer Chambers
Tiffany Nahm
as Bloodied Laundry Man
Ernesto Cornejo
as Bloodied Kitchen Man
Mark Steger
as Dr. Herbert
Andrew Varenhorst
as Faceless Prisoner
Chad Guerrero
as Officer Davis
Tom Wright
as Curtis
Ethan Lee
as Nerdy Kid
Steve Huang
as Bald Inmate
Lydia Dunham
as Counselor
Shelley Rucker
as 911 Operator
Asia Watson
as Haley's Friend
Candace Armstrong
as Summer Camp Kid
Carin Lanway
as Summer Camp Kid
Cora Shather
as Summer Camp Kid
Christine Johnnie
as Summer Camp Kid
Armando Casanas
as Human Shapes
Jayme Wojciechowski
as Human Shapes
Uncle Warren
as Human Shapes
Dale Shieh
as Neighbor
Evan Miller
as Neighbor
Rhoda Pell
as Neighbor
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Critic Reviews for The Diabolical

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (6)

  • "The Diabolical" is a tepid horror-thriller that never manages to sell, much less clarify, its potentially ambitious concept.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • None of the elements-the scary stuff, the psychological drama, the family-dynamic crises-really deliver the wallop necessary to provide truly memorable horror fare.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Nothing out of the ordinary, but it'll keep anyone planning a Halloween all-nighter awake and interested.

    Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Mike McCahill

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • a rich and intriguing variation on a timeworn theme, as the tropes of the haunted house flick are ingeniously reverse-engineered and rebuilt into something else.

    Aug 20, 2015
  • An utterly contrived reveal leads to everything going completely mental, as the film tries desperately to be a dozen different things at once.

    Sep 26, 2019 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…
  • Easily one of the more ambitious films I have seen from a first time director.

    Aug 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Diabolical

  • Apr 03, 2016
    A low-budget horror film, The Diabolical is complete garbage. The story follows a mother and her two children who live in a house that they believe is haunted, but when they attempt to leave the children get infected by something that prevents them from going outside of the house. The acting is awful and the writing is equally bad. Additionally, the special effects are piss-poor and the makeup effects for the ghosts aren't that frightening. There is an interesting twist at the end, but it's hardly worth the slog to get to. Incredibly monotonous and boring, The Diabolical is a rote haunted house film that doesn't deliver any scares.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2016
    There's no denying that this film's concept is intriguing, at least once you get into the more sci fi-esque elements later into it. Which is why it ends up being a shame that the film never ends up being more than just a fairly watchable film. The problem is that the film never really seems to do a good job at explaining or justifying its own time-travelling, without spoiling too much, elements to cleverly implement them in what is, essentially, a horror movie. They leave too many unanswered questions, basic stuff that should've been established early on. For one, they never exactly explain why CamSET is sending people back in time for anyway. Like there's the whole subplot of CamSET, in the present, trying to buy off Madison's house for her land, but they never make sure to tell you why. And I understand that a lot of films do present situations where the ending is left up for debate. But I think, in those films, I think they do a great job at providing you with enough information for you to base your own theory on that. This isn't the case in this film, it just feels like lazy writing, either they didn't want to find an answer to these questions or they just didn't have enough time to elaborate on some of these other aspects. Potential can only get you so far, honestly. Like you need so much more than that in this day and age, so this simply won't get by just on a cool concept alone. They needed to follow it up with an equally interesting approach to the concept. One of the things that I liked about the movie is that there's literally no exposition. What I mean by that is the fact that then it begins, the shit has already been happening for quite a while. Thankfully that does do away with a lot of the filler that you find in these movies, where it's almost always the same 'move into the house, weird shit starts happening, no one believes them, etc, etc, etc'. So I thought that was fine. The horror itself isn't anything special, though there are some fairly grotesque monster designs which are perplexing at first, but they do explain it in a fairly throwaway line. As far as horror goes, this movie is fairly substandard. There are some moments in the beginning that were slightly effective, but the longer the film goes the less effective they actually are. The acting is fine, there's nothing really to complain about, but nothing really to praise either. A film that's not without its moments, but one that's sort of a letdown since it fails to live up to its concept's potential. This isn't a bad movie, but I can't really recommend this at all. Watching this won't kill you with how horrible it is, but it won't really stick with you much after you're done with it. Slightly below average movie here.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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