22nd September 2011
The Devil’s Rock had its opening night
Quick: name a Guernsey film. No points if you said the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, as that’s too obvious. If you said The Devil’s Rock, though, take a bow.
Directed by Paul Campion, who also wrote the screenplay with Paul Finch and Brett Ihaka, The Devil’s Rock is set during the Second World War. It tells the story of two New Zealand commandos who are sent to the Channel Islands to destroy German defensive positions so that they will be distracted while the Allies launch the D-Day landings.
However, once they’ve planted their explosives they set about exploring. In doing so, they discover a plot to harness the occult to summon up a demon that will act on the Axis powers’ behalf and, in doing so, win the war for Germany.
Various Guernsey locations are prominent and easily recognisable, including the German Range Finding and Observation Tower MP4 at Pleinmont. However, most of the interiors were filmed at Wrights Hill Fortress back in New Zealand.
The New Zealand-produced film opened in UK cinemas on 8 July and made it to DVD three days later, but didn’t open in its home territory until 22 September 2011.
The Devil’s Rock’s reception
The film hasn’t earned itself entirely glowing reviews. The Guardian gave it two out of five. Its critic, Michael Hann, concluded, “for all the gore and demonic transmogrification, there’s a distinct lack of chills and frights”.