Scream Horror Magazine

DEMONIC: Film Review

Posted on: August 9th, 2015

Following the discovery of a brutal massacre at an abandoned house, a police officer and psychologist investigate the deaths of 5 college students who were killed whilst trying to summon spirits.

Demonic, which was previously entitled ‘House of Horror’, is presented by Dimension Films and horror maestro James Wan. Creepy Puppet, as he is known on twitter, has had numerous successes with films like Fast 7, Insidious, Saw, The Conjuring and was also on the Demonic production team – along with F Javier Gutierrez – whom incidentally was due to direct the movie.

A good horror shouldn’t always rely on the obvious; it’s the subtleties that will help to manifest fear and suspense with the viewer. Now, I am uncertain how much influence Wan has had on this film but the director Will Canon definitely used Wans tricks of the trade to create scares and jumps. There were things going on in the background that I missed the first time. This layering is something that I love in a film because it keeps you questioning your own powers of observation and sense of reality.

Now I am sure that there will be people out there who will find that the storyline is predictable. In as much as that the story centres around college students investigating the paranormal, when one clearly goes crazy and starts picking off his mates one by one. However, what I liked about Demonic was the fact that there are two stories entwined into one. We have the police aspect, whereby Dr Elizabeth Klein (Mario Bello) is working with Detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) to investigate the murders and interrogate the lone survivor. But we also have the unravelling tale of murder and mayhem with the college students. This gets the old grey matter working because it goes back and forth between the two, therefore enabling you become more than just voyeur.

The only downside for me was that the majority of the kills were shown using found footage. I almost felt cheated because I couldn’t get a good look at what was going on. It also had its excuses ready because the footage seized by the police was corrupted, so I felt like that it gave the film makers an excuse not to invest in decent practical effects. For me, found footage is not scary. Therefore I felt that Demonic would have been much juicier if there was at least one clear death scene, as this would have demonstrated the raw brutal nature of the beast within.

I know that there will be plenty of people out there who will be terrified when watching Demonic, as it involves in messing around in things, which shouldn’t be messed with. However, as to the seasoned horror fans, I am not so sure.

One thing for sure is that Demonic is fresh, suspenseful and a break from the norm.

Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11

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