September 30, 2015

DVD Review: Demonic (2015)
Shot sometime in early 2013 (or maybe even late 2012 for all we know), Demonic was supposed to come out in December of 2014, only to be delayed for some unknown reason. Now, nearly a year later, the movie has seen release in plenty of countries around the world, and it's even out on DVD now in the UK... but there's still no U.S. release date.

When a movie goes through these kinds of delays, it's usually because it sucks, and its distributors have no idea what to do with it. Demonic wasn't horrible at all though; it had its issues, but we enjoyed it for the most part, so who knows.
In 1988, Martha Livingston killed four of her friends and then hung herself, as part of a bizarre Satanic ritual. *There of course was one survivor, as there always in in these types of cases. Twenty-some odd years later, Detective Frank Grillo responds to a call at the old Livingston House, where he finds a grisly murder scene which is oddly reminiscent of the 1988 murders. This time though, there are three people dead, and one traumatized survivor.

The survivor tells Detective Frank Grillo that he and his five Abercrombie Model friends broke into the old house, determined to do some ghost hunting, or find answers, or some such shit. He also tells him that there are still two survivors out there; one of them is possessed by Satan, and the other being his pregnant girlfriend. Who is now presumably Satan's whore.

Running out of time (we're not sure why we said that, because there's no clock on anything in this movie), Detective Frank Grillo teams up with the hot psychologist who he's banging, in order to find the two missing ghost hunters, as well as figure out just what in the hell happened in that house.

Enjoyable familiarity ensues.

As imperfect as Demonic is, and as much of a trainwreck as we were expecting it to be (with its delays and release woes), we actually ended up enjoying it. Jump-scares aside, this movie found a way to creep us out more than a few times, and it even made us jump once... and we don't often jump. We are not jump-scare people!

Though Demonic is a traditional movie, there are some elements of Found Footage present, although director Will Cannon uses them only sparingly. Most of it either presented in flashback form, or as uncovered evidence, and so it never ended up becoming the ridiculous nuisance that it often is.

Frank Grillo is the big selling point of this movie, at least for us, because he's awesome. His character was a bit underwritten, but the guy just has a certain screen presence that makes him enjoyable to watch. Same goes for Maria Bello; underwritten, but solid. Everyone else was serviceable.

If anything works against Demonic, it's the writing. The dialogue is a little stiff, and some of the plot choices were less that inspired. A lot of what goes on in the movie is also fairly predictable as well, which is irksome coming from a movie that James Wan produced. We're guessing that having three people involved with the screenplay probably didn't help matters much either.

Overall, Demonic started off much stronger than it finished, which killed a bit of its impact. Still a solid effort though.

Not perfect, but far better than we expected it to be, Demonic is a solid Haunted House/Found Footage hybrid that kept us mostly entertained throughout. I wouldn't go telling people to import the DVD from the UK so that they could see it immediately or anything, but once it finally hits VOD here in the U.S., you could do much worse than giving it a rent.


Demonic is available now on DVD through Amazon.UK.

Cody Horn & friends.

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