By Clark Collis
April 03, 2019 at 12:00 PM EDT

In the slow-burn horror film I Trapped the Devil, A.J. Bowen and and Susan Burke play a married couple named Matt and Karen who visit Matt’s brother Steve (Scott Poythress) at Christmas. Do they mark the occasion with glasses of eggnog, a few carols, and an early night? Seemingly not.

“[Steve] is acting bizarre and the house is in disarray,” writer-director Josh Lobo tells EW. “He basically reveals to them that he has kidnapped a man that nobody really knows, and he believes that that person is the devil, and that by trapping him it is slowly ending the world’s strife. It becomes a mind game. Is this person the devil? Is this person not the devil? Are all of these things coincidences? Or is there something more going on?”

Bowen’s previous genre credits include The Signal and You’re Next, and the actor is known in horror circles for his love of Christmas-set terror tales. Did that help Lobo convince him to take the role?

“Well, one of our first conversations, when we started talking, he was basically like, ‘I’ve been looking for a long time for a Christmas film to do,’” the filmmaker says. “And this one is different. It’s not a traditional Christmas movie. There’s [not] a bunch of killings happening. There’s not a demented Santa Claus. It’s a psychological horror film that takes place during Christmas.”

The cast also includes Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil) and Chris Sullivan (This Is Us).

“I had never seen [Sullivan] in This Is Us,” says Lobo. “I loved his character in The Knick and I just reached out.”

IFC Midnight will release I Trapped the Devil in select theaters and on-demand April 26. Get an exclusive look at the trailer above, and check out the poster below.

IFC Midnight

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