Tuesday, October 3, 2017
From the press kit:
"A psychological thriller that marries elements of The Exorcist, The Shining and The Big Chill, Demons tells of a celebrated fiction writer and former priest (Doleac, “American Horror Story”, The Hollow) who, along with his wife, are tormented by the ghost of her late sister, as the details of her grisly death are slowly uncovered."
I had no idea what I was getting into here. I just dove in cold. I have to admit that I was a little lost at the beginning. The film was playing with two different time periods and I wasn't sure which characters were which or if they were the same folks at all. However, it seemed like someone else might have pointed this out as well because they did a very handy little recap and it all fell into place. After that, I was set.
DEMONS leans more towards a heady drama rather than a strictly horror based film. There are major horror elements for sure, but I think the film goes more into interesting storytelling rather than thrills and chills. And the storytelling is very good, indeed.
We bounce back and forth between events of the past and how those events changed the characters in the present. Those events are dark and sad and it's left our leads in a bit of a state. I found the "Big Chill" style interactions to be fun. Be warned - there are many interesting conversations about spirituality, faith, and personal interactions and they may scare off a few gore hounds for sure, but the film is never preachy or heavy handed. I'm not a spiritual person, but I found the conversations to be very engaging and intriguing.
One interesting thing here is that I actually wanted it to just be a straight drama after a time. It totally could have played that way for sure. The characters and story were rolling along so well and I was so invested in their fates that I didn't find the more supernatural side of things to be as much of a draw.
The cast and story are super solid. It's like they've gone and done a search for "interesting actors with amazing voices" and cast a bunch here. Andrew Divoff's booming WISHMASTER voice and demeanor were perfect for the father, Gary Grubbs and his southern twang-rific voice as a priest was fun, and Kristina Emerson's voice was so...smooooooth. And...was that John Schneider?! :) But, I was riveted by Miles Doleac's performance as our male lead here. The changes he undergoes within the film's runtime were part of my confusion. He really did become two separate people after the events of the past and that change was reflected in his performance. And, he wrote and directed the film as well. A busy guy!
I was half way through the film when I realized that I had been staring at the screen slack jawed and engrossed for over 55 minutes. No email checking. No texting. No side scrolling. I was completely hooked by the story and the characters on the screen. The film is shot beautifully thanks to Ben McBurnett's cinematography and it has a great color and lighting scheme that gives it a rich feeling.
I'd say that this would be a grand film for someone who wants some thrills, but really wants to care about the characters and the plot.
An interesting watch. Give it a viddy! IN THEATERS 10/6/2017
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster), John Schneider (‘’Smallville’’), Lindsay Anne Willams (The Hollow), Steven Brand (Hellraiser : Revelations), Kristina Emerson (“NCIS : New Orleans”), and Gary Grubbs (Free State of Jones) co-star star in a powerful goosebump-stirring new spookfest from Historia Films, the makers of The Hollow and The Historian.