Friday, October 23, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Demonic

2015, Will Canon -- download

Found footage. Yeah yeah, another season another, "its OK, its bad, its a novel use, its oh so tired." Meh, skip it. Its now no less a valid trope in horror movie making than The Last Girl, which also implies you can play around with the idea. Its no longer just the idea of piecing together a story purely from the footage that was found.

In Demonic, in the 80s, a girl invited a bunch of friends over to her lovely country house and then slaughtered them. Only one lived, and not the murderer. These days the house has been left untouched and unsold and is the local creepy place. A neighbour is sent by his wife to investigate some screams she heard from over there. And guess what, he finds bodies! And even stranger, he actually calls the cops before going deeper into the house and thus does not become a cliche opening murder scene.

Cop Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) shows up to find the scene -- bodies everywhere, obviously who were doing some sort of paranormal investigation. All but one. They drag him out, handcuff the poor kid, who is in shock, and begin the interrogation. And we flashback to the found footage, seen through the cameras of these college kids who are investigating the haunted house.

John, the survivor, is coaxed to venture into this house, by his girlfriend and her friends, because he has been having visions of his recently departed mother in that house. You see, she was the survivor of the 80s murders there. Instant conflict comes in the addition of ex-BF of John's GF running the investigation, and man, is he a dick. After a brief visit to the gas station trope, they set up in the house.

These kids are serious paranormal investigators, with all the right equipment, previous experience and some knowledge of spirit mythology & the other side. There were some ritualistic connections to the murders here and they hope to summon a spirit, but protect themselves from whatever evil caused the infamous acts. They know how to find the sensitive spots, summon ghosts and how to record them.

The movie progresses, flipping back and forth between, the cop investigating and the haunted goings on in the house, things get creepier and creepier. It does a good job of actually making us nervous, with creepy rooms and scare jumps and really, tangible stuff to scare the pants off these kids. And yet, they won't leave. Dickish Ex won't lose his valuable time just because the ghosts are a bit violent, but then they realize it had never been a seance for the recently departed, but a ritual for summoning something much worse. And guess what, they are recreating that fateful night.

You would think a movie like this would be all about the kids being killed off, one by one, but once its revealed that something much much worse than a ghost is involved, the movie shifts focus back to John and two more survivors, one being the dick. Demon possessed? GF is pregnant? The shift to a setup for forthcoming movies, or at least a legacy we can speculate about is great. So, they summoned a demon, the cops all saw the events happen, and cannot deny. What now? What goes into the report? How do they close the murder case? From a spooky ghost movie, I would swing the sequel into a haunting action movie, but that's me.

I liked this one, but as Kent knows, likely only because I was already spinning the continuing story in my head. Still, its decently done.