The Diabolical comes from first time writer/director Alistair Legrand and it’s a mixed bag of horror, science fiction and uneven results. Staring genre staple Ali Larter as Madison, a single mom struggling to keep the life of her and her two children together, she finds herself living in a haunted house. After having a string of various experts in the supernatural field and practical medical doctors come investigate, Madison is left to her own devices.
With her son Jacob and her daughter Haley, the three are being subjected to increasingly terrifying and dangerous visits from an unknown entity. Haley believes it to be her dead father and speaks to him in a friendly manner, but Jacob and Madison do not share this outlook. Soon, the entity manages to physically harm them and things escalate to the point where Jacob and Haley cannot leave the house because they begin to suffer strange and deathly side effects. Conveniently, Madison is dating Nikolai (Arjun Gupta) who just happens to be a scientist who knows exactly how to investigate this kind of activity.
Larter and Gupta are wonderful actors and they are a lot of the reason you stick with the film. There are some genuine moments of suspense and at least one of the jump scares will probably work on you, but the twists are exceedingly easy to see coming if you’re paying any attention, however, that doesn’t necessarily take away from the overall experience. For every truly unique aspect, there is an equally unoriginal one and by the time the end of the movie comes, you’ll find yourself questioning a lot of the plausibility of what you just saw. Overall, the movie has a steady tone and the effects are pretty great, but you’ve seen this movie more than a few times and you may find yourself regretting spending the time when you get to the last 3 minutes of the film.