The Horror Honeys: Devoured: Hungry?

Devoured: Hungry?

A Supernatural Honey Review by Suzanne

Devoured (2014)

It was my intention to watch a film that was just released, but the fates were against me so I began combing through my watch list and I 'eeny, meenie, miny, mo’d it. I hit the play button for Devoured and, to my delight, I didn’t want to hurt myself for it.

Devoured lets us in on the life of Lourdes (played fantastically by Marta Milans), an immigrant who works as a cleaning lady for a restaurant in NYC. Lourdes’ job conditions are deplorable. She puts up with a jealous and spiteful boss, as well as sexual harassment from the chef, to send nearly all of her earnings back home to help pay for an operation for her ailing son, Oliver. As the days pass, mysterious things begin to happen in the restaurant, voices, shadow figures, and strange visions. Is the restaurant haunted? If so, what do the spirits want with Lourdes?

The movie opens with a police officer standing over the dead body of Lourdes. We know her fate from the first minute of the film, but the journey to that end is a slow burn with a great payoff. 

As a former NYC resident, I know just how frustrating it is when you feel like all you do is work to keep a roof over your head and I had a good job. For a lot of the first act of the film, I relived that as I watched Lourdes go to work, come home, sleep and repeat that over and again. 

Lourdes’ boss, Kristen, is jealous of the attention Lourdes receives and torments her. At one point, she even threatens to sell Lourdes to the Chinese after Kristen is caught having sex with a staff member. Lourdes is also continuously harassed by the chef, but she tolerates it silently for fear of being fired.

She watches patrons of the restaurant flash large wads of cash and you can’t help but sympathize. Although, at the same time, it insinuates that white people in Manhattan are all filthy rich and I can assure you, that’s about as realistic as a freelance writer being able to afford an apartment on the upper east side, along with a designer wardrobe and $600 pairs of shoes. (Yeah, Sex & the City, I’m looking at you)

One of the men promoting his wealth notices Lourdes and follows her to the bathroom where he offers to pay her to do a job for him, if you know what I mean. Desperate for the cash, she does it, although she’s sick about it afterward and that’s when she begins seeing things. 

Devoured is all about atmosphere. It was shot entirely in NYC, with most of the exteriors done at dusk or dawn so it’s always dark. The interiors are in her tiny, worn apartment or inside the restaurant. Even in the restaurant, she’s in the basement or the wine cellar, which is incredibly claustrophobic. There is also a feeling of voyeurism as we see Lourdes on the restaurant’s security cameras.

When she decides she has finally had enough and is going back home to her son, the power tormenting her culminates to seal her fate, but the twist at the end is one I really didn’t see coming.

Devoured was released in 2012 in Spain, but did not get a US release until 2014 and it’s not going to work for everyone. If you’re looking for a fast paced, gory, run of the mill horror film, this isn’t it. Devoured is proof that, even with a small budget, a great location and a great performance can have a great reward.

Supernatural Honey verdict: 3 kitchen knives out of 5

Devoured is available Amazon Instant Video and some VOD platforms