I Trapped the Devil is a 2019 horror film that was written and directed by Josh Lobo. The film stars Scott Poythress, A.J. Bowen, Susan Burke, Chris Sullivan, and Jocelin Donahue. It was released on April 26, 2019 and is currently available on Hulu.
The film begins from the perspective of Matt (A.J. Bowen) and his wife, Karen (Susan Burke).
We learn that Matt had an unexpected, but strong feeling that he should visit his brother Steve (Scott Poythress), with whom he has not seemingly spoken to for some time. When Matt and Karen arrive at Steve's house, they become alarmed when they see that all the windows have been covered with newspaper and Steve appears to be nervous, agitated and highly vigilant. We learn that Matt is especially concerned about Steve because Steve had recently lost his wife Sarah (Jocelin Donahue) and his daughter in a car accident.
Although Steve tries to get Matt and Karen to leave, they instead become more convinced that something is wrong and they need to stay and find out what is going on with Steve. They become even more concerned when Steven takes some phone calls and becomes even more agitated.
Steve eventually confesses to Matt and Karen that he believes he found the Devil, captured him and locked him in his basement. Matt and Karen ask to go and see where the man has been locked up, obviously thinking that Steve has lost touch with reality. Steve leads Matt and Karen to a darkened basement, with the only light coming from an eerie red light.
Along with Matt and Karen, we see that there is a door in the basement which has been boarded up and locked with several padlocks. The biggest shock is seeing a huge cross on the door. Steve approaches the door and takes off the giant cross and we hear a man begin to plead with them to let him out. Matt and Karen are very concerned at this point and they all go back upstairs after Steve puts the cross back on the door.
The rest of the film follows Steve, Matt and Karen as they decide what to do about the man (or Devil) in the basement.
If You Like this Film, You May Also Like:
Session 9 (1999)
In the Mouth of Madness (1995)
It Follows (2014)
Storm of the Century (1999)
The Omen (1976)
The House of the Devil (2009)
*Discussion below contains spoilers*
I loved this movie. I love the premise of this movie because it's so original and it really made me think about how I would react if I had a family member I was worried about tell me that they trapped the Devil. My thoughts were that I'd be open to talking to whoever was locked up and I'd make up my own mind without bias as to what I thought was really going on. I mean, I'd probably tell them if they somehow locked up the Devil what a great job they did, that they were really brave, and that we should keep his ass locked up forever. Then again, the Devil is EVIL (yes, with all capital letters), so he could probably somehow influence others to come and help him escape. So...I think it'd probably be a good idea to set up like, traps and shit, you know?
I also love this movie because it's very creepy at certain points. There is a part where Karen goes and talks to the Devil and she almost opens the door the let him out, but stops. There's no obvious reason why she stops and she doesn't say anything, but the Devil knows she is scared and laughs at her fear. Any time anyone went into that basement, I was thinking, no, no, no, get your ass upstairs, that guy is creepy as shit.
The first thing I noticed in the film is that the guy wouldn't talk until the cross was off the door. I was immediately like, uh huh, yep, yes sir, he's definitely the Devil. As soon as the cross was back on the door, he wouldn't talk either, so it was interesting that none of the characters said anything because I would've been like, hey, if he can't talk with the cross on the door, let's flood the basement a little with Holy water and see if that fucker burns. But, no one asked me, so that didn't happen.
I had a feeling things wouldn't be going so well for ol' Steve, seeing how as the Devil influenced Matt and Karen from so far away (to come and visit Steve), influenced the police to show up, was making phone calls to Steve, and was influencing the television set to show Steve his dead wife. It kind of also made me think the Devil was messing with Steve because he liked to inflict pain, fear, and sadness upon Steve. Steve said himself that he thought the Devil somehow influenced someone to kill his whole family, so it's not that far-fetched to think that maybe the Devil allowed himself to be captured so he could torture Steve and kill the rest of Steve's loved ones.
I believe in God, so I believe that the cross had influence over the Devil as far as being able to directly speak with the people in the house and that he needed help to get past the cross barrier, but it's interesting that the writer gave the Devil the ability to influence Steve, Matt and Karen in other ways.
I would definitely recommend this film if you like slow-burn, creepy horror films. This film is very thought-provoking and the acting is great. I always like to watch A.J. Bowen in films and this was another great movie. I am also impressed with Josh Lobo, as this is the first film he has directed and he did such a great job with writing the script. I'm looking forward to other films from him in the future.
Have you seen this film? Do you want to see it? What do you think about it? Would you be open to hearing a relative explain something out of the ordinary or would you immediately worry about their mental health like Matt and Karen? What would you do if you thought you caught the Devil? Would you tell anyone? Would you try to make him a grenade sandwich with a side of RPG? As long as it's covered in Holy water! That's what I say.