The Devil’s Rock is the first New Zealand film that I have ever watched. This 2011 horror film directed by Paul Campion, written by Paul Finch, Paul Campion and Brett Ihaka and starring Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela and Karlos Drinkwater. Set during World War 2, it is a story inspired by the tales of Nazis experimenting with the occult to find ways of winning the war against the allied forces.
On the 5th of June, 1944 commandos are sent to the Channel Islands , to draw Hitler’s attention away from Normandy on the eve of D Day. Two New Zealand soldiers are sent to Forau Island and land on a beach which is covered with land-mines and traps. Leaving the beach the two soldiers, Captain Ben Grogan & Sergeant Joe Tane, head towards a German fortification and plant explosives when they are interrupted by a Nazi soldier screaming for help from a tunnel that leads into the fortified building. Grogan stabs the man dead and they are about to set the explosives when they hear a woman’s screams from inside the building. Grogans goes in alone at first and an impatient follows in the dark. Tane finds a room in which a decimate corpse lies in a room with a radio transmitter, some books and a desk with some chairs.
A Nazi follows Tane and kills him with a shot from his gun and Grogan is knocked unconscious and captured. The Nazi turns out to be Colonel Meyer who then tortures Grogan for information on his mission. The woman’s screams are still heard from a room one level above. Grogan manages to escape his binds and in the darkness of the tunnels he shoots and injures Meyer. As he heads up, he finds himself in a room filled with occult symbols and finds a woman in chains. Grogan is shocked to find that the woman is his wife Helena who was killed in a bomb explosion much earlier. Meyer comes in and shoots the woman in the head, apparently killing her and also shooting Grogan in the leg. Grogan attacks Meyer, who explains the woman is a demon, summoned up from a book of black magic found on the island. Meyer proves this by offering Helena the leg of a dead German. The woman comes back to life, changes form into a demon and eats the leg.
Meyer explains to a shocked Grogan that the creature is a shape shifting demon that can read the thoughts of man and take different forms at will. The Nazis had planned to use it as a weapon to win the war but ealised the demon poses a world threat, so they keep it confined. The demon cannot harm the wearer of a sacred text that contains a protective incantation against it and which Meyer had kept in a small pouch around his neck. However, Grogan had stolen the pouch and switched the papers without Meyer’s knowledge and now he has the protective incantation. Meyer offers to give the book to Grogan if he will help Meyer escape from Germany. Meyer then persuades Grogan to help him perform a ritual to dispel the demon back to Hell, but Meyer betrays Grogan at the end of the ritual. The demon, who in the form of Helena had been playing its tricks in front of Grogan, reveals that she took his wife’s form as she knew she couldn’t physically hurt him. It then devours Meyer but cannot harm Grogan because he stole the protective incantation against the demon from Meyer. Unable to complete the ritual, Grogan takes the book and leaves the demon behind, to prey on any Germans that come to investigate. One does fall prey during the closing credits.
Quite a change from the usual horror movies and I did like the plot. It’s a bit scary but overall the small budget does show up in the demon’s makeup, which is not scary at the least. Still I really liked this well acted movie and found the actress Gina Varella, tantalizingly & deliciously sexy & beautiful. Growwlll! 7 outta 10!