The Devil’s Candy (2015) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

The Devil's Candy 2015 explain poster

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at the 2015’s The Devil’s Candy

After his family moves into a new home, Jesse (Ethan Embry) hears demonic whispering while a former resident hears the same whispering telling him to kill.

Is The Devil’s Candy Scary?

The Devil’s Candy isn’t as gory as you would expect a movie that starts with heavy metal music to be. It leans more into the unsettling and disturbing aspects of horror and it really works. While you won’t leave the film afraid of anything supernatural, it’ll remind you that humans are the most terrifying monsters. Oh, and also weird art.

The Devil’s Candy Full Plot Summary:

The film opens in the middle of the night when Raymond (Pruitt Taylor Vince) is awoken by demonic whispers apparently telling him it’s time to rock and roll. Moments later Raymond is strumming his electric guitar and it sounds nothing like music but it’s annoying. 

His mother barges into the room, unplugs the amp, and rightfully questions what the fuck he is doing. Raymond tells her that when he plays it loud he can’t “hear them”. It’s implied this isn’t the first time Raymond has dealt with the voices since his mother tells him to pack his things so he can go back to the hospital. 

After she leaves the room, the voices grow louder. Following his mother to the staircase, Raymond strikes her in the back with the guitar causing her to fall down the steps to her death. A short time later, Raymond’s father arrives home, finds his wife at the base of the stairs, and hears the “music” playing upstairs.

Cut to on fire title screen!

We open on Jesse (Ethan Embry) a heavy-metal-loving struggling artist currently working on a large butterfly display for a bank. His daughter, Zooey (Kiara Glasco), who clearly shares her father’s taste in music comes to check on him. Astrid (Shiri Appleby), the matriarch of the family, pops up and reminds him they’re running late to their appointment. 

The family heads out and it’s revealed their appointment is to look at a new house in the middle of nowhere. As you probably guessed, and because of horror movie rules, this happens to be the same house from the start of the movie.

Jesse, Astrid, and Zooey move into Raymond's home in 2015s The Devil's Candy
Aww yea, that’s your classic murder house.

Before the family could place a bid, the realtor informs them that he legally has to tell them of any deaths that occurred in the house. Here we learn that after Ray’s mom “accidentally” died, his father also died from natural causes. 

Interestingly he doesn’t mention Ray at all and there’s no indication of how long ago this happened. Because the movie has to happen, the family buys the house and everyone is happy.

Meanwhile, we catch up with Raymond checking into a motel as he starts to hear the voices once again. His solution? Shredding on the ol’ electric guitar which prompts a visit from Deputy Hernandez (played by Oryan Landa) who warns him to keep down the noise.

Several days later while Astrid is at work and after Jesse drops Zooey off at school, Jesse returns to the house and starts to hear the same demonic whispers Ray has been hearing. This puts him in a trance-like state as he heads to his studio to start painting. 

That night Astrid arrives home gets jump scared by Zooey and then heads to the studio to look for Jesse. Based on her questions it’s implied that Jesse has been painting all day, and I’m no artist but this took all day?

Jesse paints a painting while under a trance in 2015s The Devil's Candy
It’s not even in color…

At the house, the doorbell rings, and Zooey answers it thinking it’s the pizza man but it’s our ol’ pal Ray who immediately takes a liking to Zooey. Coincidentally she has a fake tattoo of the exact guitar Ray has been playing and when he says he has the guitar, Zooey gushes over it.

Returning to the house, Jesse sees and is freaked out by Ray. It doesn’t help that all Ray says is that he has to come home because “they” won’t let him play his music loud. That’s always a creepy thing to say without context to the new owners of your former home. 

Though Jesse apologizes for what happened to his parents, he demands he leave and shuts the door on him. Ray refuses and continuously rings the doorbell until Jesse threatens to call the police. 

Jesse tells Raymond to leave the house in 2015s The Devil's Candy
Maybe he should have led with the thing about hearing demonic whispers?

That night Ray is back at the motel watching a sermon on the TV and it’s a bit distressing that there’s a hacksaw and a large black bag on the bed behind him. At the house we see the bills have started piling up as Jesse looks at his most recent painting.

The following morning Jesse and Zooey leave the house and are shocked to find Ray’s electric guitar and amp sitting at their front gate. Zooey begs her dad to keep it but he refuses since you know, it came from Ray.

After dropping Zooey off at school, Jesse heads to an art studio interestingly named Belial, as in the devil. We learn the owner of Belial, Leonardo, has already rejected Jesse’s portfolio before but he tells Leo’s assistant, Mara (Jamie Tisdale), that his new painting is different and begs her to consider it. Mara opens the USB Jesse brought and is immediately intrigued by the painting he drew while in a trance.

A short time later Jesse is back at home trying to get himself into another trance while we see Raymond in his car out in the middle of nowhere. The two men suddenly start hearing the demonic whispers causing Jesse to fall into a trance and paint over the butterfly mural. 

Unfortunately, Ray doesn’t paint, and as he hears the whispers, two young boys and a dog run by headed to a playground. While one of the boys runs into the woods to chase after their dog, another is swinging on a nearby swing and doesn’t notice Ray coming up behind him with a rock.

We cut back to Jesse who has finished a portion of the painting and, although we only see a piece of it, we see that he has painted the face of the kid Ray just attacked. Maybe the demonic whispers these two are hearing are coming from two different entities one of which, is really into murder.

Jesse falls out of his trance and realizes he’s really fucking late to pick Zooey up from school. Rushing over he finds her outside the school waiting and he starts profusely apologizing. Zooey makes him swear he’ll never do it again and then, since she ain’t no sucker, she makes him agree to let her keep the guitar and amp that Ray left. 

Back at the motel, Ray drags the still-alive kid into his room. As Ray plays another sermon on the TV, he dons the black garbage bag and grabs the hacksaw. We see several intercut scenes of Ray cleaning up after hacking his victim into pieces and Jesse continuing his painting.

Astrid enters Jesse’s studio and begins to question why he let Zooey keep the guitar but she’s taken aback by the new mural… and not in a good way. We see the mural now contains several implied dead children and Zooey on fire. 

A very confused Astrid asks “What the fuck?” but in a nicer way and Jesse says he can’t stop because he feels the children in the painting calling out to him for some reason.

Back with Ray, he drives out to a clearing, grabs a shovel from his trunk, and pulls out a suitcase presumably filled with the pieces of his victim. Turns out that wasn’t Ray’s only victim as he digs a hole revealing multiple buried pieces of luggage. 

Meanwhile, Jesse has a nightmare of Zooey burning in a fire and he storms out of the house to his studio where he attempts to destroy the mural. Before he can stab the painting with a box cutter, the demonic whispers return, louder than before, and he’s put back into a painting trance.

Luckily all he’s doing is painting and sure, he left the front door to the house wide open, but it’s not like someone is going to-

Raymond breaks into the house and lays next to Zooey in 2015s The Devil's Candy

While Jesse continues painting, Ray sneaks inside the house and lays down next to a sleeping Zooey. Ray tells her “he” wanted him to kill her but Ray refused since she’s special and that’s… nice? The whispering in her face causes Zooey to wake up, see Ray, and freak the fuck out.

Astrid runs in but she’s easily knocked away by Ray as he flees the room. Downstairs Jesse runs into the house and after a brief struggle, Ray is able to escape. We cut to a short time later with Deputy Winnie (Mylinda Royer) at the house. 

Turns out Ray was able to ‘break’ in since the locks were never changed. Winnie then offers to stay outside the house for the night in case Ray returns.

Mylinda Royer as Deputy Winnie arrives after Raymond escapes in 2015s The Devil's Candy
“Y’all know you can change locks right?”

While Astrid attempts to put a shaken Zooey to bed, Jesse stands by the window holding a bat and starts having visions of Ray approaching the house, Zooey on fire, and a four-horned goat because there’s always a goat.

The next morning, after Jesse drops Zooey off at school, Mara calls Jesse and tells him Leonard is finally willing to meet to see what else he’s working on. Jesse is ecstatic but when he learns Leonard wants to meet at 3, the same time he has to pick up Zooey from school, he refuses the meeting. 

Mara agrees to move the meeting to 2 pm but we cut to later that day and it’s clear Leonard is taking his sweet time to get to the meeting. Leonard (played by Tony Amendola) finally arrives and immediately loves the demonic art Jesse has created. 

There’s also a strange implication that he is working with the demon as Jesse starts hearing the demonic whispers when Leonard says it’s okay if he’s late picking up Zooey. But I think this is just metaphorically symbolizing the sin and temptation Jesse is experiencing throughout the movie.

Tony Amendola as Leonard the owner of the art galllery The Belial in 2015s The Devil's Candy
“So you pick your daughter up a little late from school, what’s the worst that can happen?”

After the meeting, Jesse speeds to the school but in his attempt to cut someone off, his tire pops and he crashes into a ditch. With no other choice, he runs to the school and discovers Zooey is missing. We cut to Zooey waking up wrapped in duct tape in Ray’s bathroom at the hotel.

Zooey wakes up duct taped in Raymond's bathroom in 2015s The Devil's Candy
“sO yOU PicK yOuR dAuGHter uP a LitTle lAte, wHaTS tHe WoRsT tHaT CaN hApPeN?”

As Ray watches a sermon and changes into his murdering attire, which is just a garbage bag, Zooey frees herself and starts climbing through the bathroom window. Ray enters just in time to grab her foot but Zooey breaks free and successfully escapes. 

We cut to a short time later with Jesse and Astrid arriving at the police station where they’re reunited with Zooey. Unfortunately for Jesse, Zooey remembers his promise to not pick her up late from school again and she throws it in his face. We also learn a bit more about Ray when an officer tells Jesse this isn’t the first time Ray tried something like this.

At 12 years old Ray attacked a 9-year-old girl and tried to bury her resulting in him ending up in psychiatric care for 20 years. Jesse asks if Ray ever said why he did it and the officer tells him Ray claimed he is being forced to feed candy to satan. If you haven’t put it together, Satan has a sweet tooth for children.

Meanwhile in the least suspicious move ever, Ray is at the gas station buying a large gas can and a single lighter.

Back at the house, the family is packing up their belongings as they’re going to be put into witness protection until Ray is caught. While Astrid and Zooey are inside the main house and Deputy Hernandez and Winnie wait for them outside, Jesse walks over to the studio and stares at his painting.

Jesse decides to destroy his latest painting in 2015s The Devil's Candy
…I don’t get art

Despite starting to hear whispers, Jesse destroys the painting. Back at the house Zooey and Astrid hear a crashing sound from outside and Winnie’s panicked screams. Peeking through the door Astrid sees Ray has crashed his car into the police cars and watches as he kills both Winnie and Hernandez with a rock to their heads.

Jesse runs back to the house, and orders Astrid and Zooey to hide as he waits by the door with a bat. Unfortunately, Ray has picked up Hernandez’s gun and bullets move faster than bats. Luckily for Jesse, Ray is completely untrained with a gun and shoots wild but that luck runs out when he manages to shoot him in the back.

Ray immediately finds Astrid and Zooey, shoots Astrid in the side, and drags Zooey outside. Moments later he drags her back inside with the gas can and stops to shoot Astrid in the head but he’s run out of bullets so he just forgets about her. 

Dragging Zooey up the stairs, Ray spills gasoline everywhere and then lights it as Astrid begs Jesse to wake up. Moments later Jesse wakes up, helps Astrid outside, and the two hear Zooey’s screams coming from her room upstairs. With the house fully engulfed in fire, Jesse grabs a ladder and climbs the outside of the house to break into the room from the outside.

Seeing this, Zooey bites Ray’s hand and escapes his grasp as Jesse tackles Ray. The two fight with Ray able to get the upper hand when he digs his finger into Jesse’s bullet wound. Throwing him to the side, Ray advances to Zooey but she’s surrounded by fire. 

Showing exemplary tunnel vision, Ray continues to walk toward her even as he is engulfed in fire. Before he can reach her Jesse attacks him with the guitar, smashing it to pieces, and then impales the neck of the guitar into Ray’s body, killing him.

After having seen Ray’s body engulfed in fire, Jesse does the smart thing and asks Zooey to jump to him which she does safely. The two escape the burning house through the window and reunite with Astrid outside.

Jesse suddenly starts to get visions of his painting and almost as if in a trance wanders off. We get a quick flashback of Jesse telling Astrid he feels the children of his painting are inside of him begging to be let out. Back in the present Jesse finds the burial site of Ray’s victims and moving some dirt reveals several suitcases filled with bodies.

The film ends as the sun shines on Jesse and he looks up in relief.

The Devil’s Candy Spoiler Review:

The Devil’s Candy is great. The acting especially from Taylor Pruit Vince and Ethan Embry really shines. The dialogue, for the most part, feels real. The only interactions that feel weirdly out of place are those with the art studio employees.

Not sure if it was meant to hint at a much larger demonic influence but it doesn’t quite land especially since they’re only present for a few scenes that you can pretty much cut out and the movie is the same.

The movie is also a fan of heavy metal or at least hard rock music and if that’s not your thing you still shouldn’t skip the movie. The music is only really around for the early parts of the movie and then it disappears once the story starts.

At only around 80 minutes it does feel like some main characters get pushed to the sidelines such as Astrid and Zooey unless they need to be in danger but it’s not too detrimental to the film. It’s clear the film is about temptation and how different people can react to it even when the temptation is actually coming from demons.

It can also be implied that the whispers Jesse is hearing aren’t demons but angels or Ray’s prior victims looking for help. Either way, Jesse is tempted a few times and does the right thing, unlike Ray who decides to kill to appease the voices. Because it’s this dynamic that is at the forefront of the film, the other main characters don’t really have much to do, and in that case the film benefits from being on the shorter side.

Overall I highly recommend giving The Devil’s Candy a watch.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 93%

Metacritic – 72

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