The Jersey Devil is the primary antagonist in the 2009 Syfy original movie Carny. The Jersey Devil is the legend of the Pine Barrens in New Jersey. The legend states the creature is the son of the Leeds family that had twelve children. When the mother's thirteenth son was almost born, she wished for her son not be a angle, but a devil. When the thirteenth child was born, he began as a human boy and then transformed into a hellish creature. The devil ate Mrs. Leeds and escaped. The creature gained the name "Jersey Devil" because sightings are reported today of the creature in the Pine Barrens.
The Jersey Devil was later captured by a man who sold him to a traveling carnival in Nebraska, where the devil eventually escaped after the pastor's son Taylor teases him at the opening show. The Jersey Devil begins killing local residents of the town including Taylor as some of his first blood.
The Jersey Devil has the appearance of a modern depiction of a devil. However, the Jersey Devil seems more animal-like. It walks on all fours and has a head similar to that of a dog, horse, or goat. The Jersey Devil has piercing red eyes, a mouth full of teeth, and a set of horns similar to that of a triceratops.
Role in the film
The Jersey Devil appears in quick flash glimpses in the very beginning of the film as it growls. After Cap kills the man who sold him the Jersey Devil, Cap and his assistant attempted to bring the Jersey Devil into the carnival of the truck. Cap shoots him with a tranquilizer dart to calm the beast down. However, as Cap's assistant heaves on the creature in chains, it slashes at his eye, causing it to bleed. Cap eventually shoots the Jersey Devil with more tranquilizer darts which finally knocks out the beast.
When the sheriff Atlas comes to investigate Cap's carnival under the local pastor's requests, Cap takes him into the tent where the Jersey Devil is being kept for the opening show. The beast growls at Atlas from inside his cage and Atlas, shocked at the creature's hellish appearance, suggests that the creature is not safe. During the opening show, the audience is shocked at the sight of the Jersey Devil. All except for the pastor's son Taylor and his friend who throws peanuts at the Jersey Devil from the audience. This angers the creature and the Jersey Devil eventually escapes from his cage and begins terrorizing the carnival. He throws a man inside the cage that he had been locked in and escapes the carnival right before flying into the Ferris wheel and injuring himself.
Later the following night, the Jersey Devil finds Taylor and his friend hiding in an old barn in the forest when he hears a dog barking at him. The Jersey Devil goes after the dog as Taylor and his friend escape the barn. However, the Jersey Devil eventually finds Taylor hiding under a bridge as his friend hides in an old car. The Jersey Devil lands on the bridge and then looks under it to find Taylor, who he kills and dismembers. Later when Taylor's friend, who survived the incident, and his mother are driving down a road in the forest, the Jersey Devil attacks him through the car window and flies off with him. As the mother is gazing at the skies trying to find him, the beast drops his dead body on the car right before killing the mother.
Cap and his assistant later try to recapture the Jersey Devil by using tranquilizer darts. They stab Atlas' deputy after accidentally shooting and mistaking him for the Jersey Devil to attract the creature with the smell of his blood. However, as the Jersey Devil approaches, the deputy shoots at the beast right before dying, which causes the Jersey Devil to retreat. The Jersey Devil then sets his sights on Cap's carnival once more and kills several of his carnies. Cap later tries once again to recapture the beast by stabbing his own assistant to death to attract the Jersey Devil with his blood. The Jersey Devil soon arrives and sneaks up from behind Cap. Cap then shoots the creature with his new tranquilizer darts that "have enough drugs in them to put an elephant to sleep for a week", which knocks out the Jersey Devil once more.
When Cap is arrested for murder after Atlas discovers part of a tranquilizer dart in his deputy's back, the Jersey Devil awakens from the tranquilizer darts and arrives at the police station where he kills Cap. Pastor Owen, who wants revenge on the devil and the carnival for the death of his son, stabs the Jersey Devil in his shoulders with two tranquilizer darts. This eventually kills the Jersey Devil. However, when the pastor and his followers arrive at the carnival, the Jersey Devil awakens right before the pastor's eyes. The Jersey Devil growls at the pastor and then kills him.
When Atlas arrives at the now burning carnival, he attempts to rescue one of Cap's carnies, Samara, and the Jersey Devil arrives to kill them as he lands on one of the RVs. The Jersey Devil chases Samara to the Ferris wheel where the "Gentle Giant" attempts to stop him. However, the Jersey Devil attacks and kills him. Atlas eventually rams the beast into the Ferris wheel with a car in attempts to kill him. As the Jersey Devil is rammed into the Ferris wheel by Atlas, he growls at him from the front car window until the Ferris wheel eventually collapses on both of them. This finally kills both the Jersey Devil and Atlas. Before the Jersey Devil dies, his hand is seen collapsing.
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