DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main

Chris Von Hoffman
Radha Mitchell, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Granaderos
Chris Von Hoffman

A struggling actor spends a weekend with a female demonologist to prepare for an audition.
Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 11/8/2022

• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Devil's Workshop [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 6, 2022)

Hollywood displays a never-ending fascination with demonic tales. Into this crowded genre steps 2022ís Devilís Workshop.

Struggling actor Clayton (Timothy Granaderos) competes with fellow thespian Donald (Emile Hirsch) for a movie role as a demonologist. To get the leg up on his rival, Clayton recruits the assistance of expert Eliza (Radha Mitchell) as preparation.

While they spend a weekend together, things become more intense than Clayton anticipated. While Eliza runs him through the satanic wringer, Clayton needs to figure out if this exists as training or if she comes with a more sinister motive.

If nothing else, Workshop comes with a moderately interesting premise for a thriller of this sort. Whereas usual demon-related flicks start off dark Ďní heavy and continue from there, this one leans more comedic at the launch.

Well, sort of. We do get drama via the unhappy state of Claytonís life, but the film leavens those moments with laughs as well.

Most of those come from Hirschís Donald. Hirsch channels Jack Black and creates an amusingly self-absorbed egotistical actor.

Clayton seems less well-defined but that doesnít seem inappropriate for the story. Workshop wants a lead who exists as something of an empty vessel to allow the audience to better invest in his trials and tribulations.

When Clayton meets Eliza, Workshop should go to a different place and become a more involving tale. We find ourselves vaguely curious what Clayton will learn from Eliza Ė or more specifically, what will go wrong.

The answer becomes ďa lotĒ, but very little that seems interesting. In particular, the movieís tone seems erratic.

As noted, I liked the nod toward a lighter vibe at the start, as that offers an unusual feel for a movie in the thriller/horror realm. However, this domain becomes inappropriate for the rest of the story, which makes occasional comedic beats seem out of place as the movie progresses.

Not that the Clayton/Eliza scenes pack guffaws, but they can veer oddly light. In addition, the flick takes jarring, pointless detours to visit Donald, and these moments lack any discernible purpose other than to give Hirsch more screen time.

Once Clayton enters Elizaís house, the movie should stay there. We need a claustrophobic vibe and to feel trapped with him, so the shifts to get some chuckles with Donald damage the film.

Not that I think Workshop would excel otherwise, as the main narrative seems oddly lethargic. As much as the movie wants Claytonís experience to seem harrowing and dark, the impact remains negligible, so we donít get a sense of real horror along the way.

This leads Workshop to become a fairly dull tale, one also saddled with a ridiculous ending. The actors give it their best shot, but they canít redeem this sluggish thriller.

Footnote: a silly tag with Donald appears during the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Devilís Workshop appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Perhaps due to stylistic choices, this became an erratic presentation.

Sharpness offered the most prominent distraction. Much of the movie looked pretty well-defined, but more than a few soft spots emerged.

Again, I did suspect these fuzzy elements occurred as a photographic decision. That said, I rarely found a narrative purpose for the softness, and instead, it just felt like the movie opted for cheap cameras at times.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering popped up, and I noticed no edge haloes. Outside of a couple small specks, print flaws remained absent.

In terms of colors, Workshop went with a sickly mix of amber and green. The hues tended to feel unattractive, but they seemed to be the point, so the disc appeared to replicate the tones accurately.

Blacks felt a little inky but not bad, and shadows offered reasonable clarity despite some murkiness. This was a watchable but inconsistent image.

As for the movieís DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it mostly opted for a sense of creepy atmosphere to go with the demonic subject matter. Not much in terms of real action emerged along the way.

Instead, the soundscape went with good stereo music and a more than reasonable sense of spooky atmosphere. While it lacked pizzazz, the soundfield suited the narrative.

Audio quality worked fine, with music that seemed full and rich. Speech appeared concise and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Effects came across as accurate and tight. Nothing here impressed, but the soundtrack seemed suitable for the material.

The disc comes with the movieís trailer but it lacks any other extras.

Although it attempts a spin on the demonic genre, Devilís Workshop fails to find purpose. After an encouraging start, it waddles across its brief running time without much to engage the viewer. The Blu-ray comes with adequate picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. This winds up as a forgettable tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main