Went out and about last Saturday afternoon….my last stop was a visit to the Family Video store in Westland on Venoy. Haven’t been there in a long time so I pulled on in to see what they had on sale.
Store was pretty busy and much like the other stores around me,are still recovering from that huge sale they had last weekend. All my stores got hit by a lot of folks snapping up 1.00 BluRays and DVDs. This of course left huge holes in the shelves that the stores need to refill with new stock. Between waiting for new stock and not having anyone to actually do the stocking….the holes were big.
I wasn’t expecting much but I did see a pair of films for 1.50 apiece that caught my eye,one of them being “Demonic”,not knowing anything about it other then James Wan who is one of the producers of the “SAW’franchise and is directing “Aquaman” produced this film which was directed by Will Canon who also wrote the screenplay.
The film starts with the telling of a mass murder at the Livingston house where Mary Livingston killed 5 people before killing herself. Only one person survived the slaughter during a seance 20 years before. The house,stained with the knowledge of such a gruesome crime,can’t be sold and is just sitting in a small Louisiana town.
When a grounds keeper comes to check out the house,he gets alarmed when sees the house has been broken into. He goes inside and discovers a lot of blood inside and calls the cops.
Detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) is the first upon the scene and upon entering the house finds three murdered young people,2 males and a female,all stabbed or axed to death. Lewis calls for back-up and continues to search the house,he finds a badly shaken survivor named John (Dustin Milligan) who asking about Michelle and Bryan over and over.
A crime scene is established and Lewis attempts to ask John what happened. John just sits in a stupor and really can’t answer other then say it was the house’s fault. Lewis then calls psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein (Maria Bello) in to see if she can find out has happened and maybe find the other two people missing.
As Klein begins to find out what John knows,Lewis and the rest of the cops find cameras from all over the house and try and recover what has happened.
We then see what has led up to this night,John has had recurring dreams about the Livingston house and he is getting his girlfriend Michelle,who also happens to be a paranormal student. She says they need to go to the house but that will mean that her ex-boyfriend Bryan,who is a expert,also will have to come. John drags his feet and then relents,the tension is high between Bryan and John.
Three others come along to help,two tech assistants,Donnie and Luke as well as Jules who knows about seances and rituals. The six students then drive to the house and begin to set the equipment.
Lewis and his team are trying to clean up the video to see what happened but only see Luke getting killed by unknown attacker.
John says that Bryan started acting weird and they all started hearing noises. They are suddenly wary when John starts knowing things about the house despite his saying he had never been there before. It turns out that John’s mother was the sole survivor of the infamous attack earlier. He had kept it a secret but Bryan had deduced it already.
The group decides to take a chance and hold a seance so Jules can attempt to find out why John is being communicated with,they think that it John’s now dead mother who is trying to tell them something…
Meanwhile,Lewis and his team get a break when they finally find Bryan,who not left the house,but has stolen a truck and is covered with blood. Lewis races to find Bryan while John continues telling his story and the CSI team has finally cleaned the video tape…now the truth will be told of what really has happened in the Livingston house,has history repeated itself or is it something more DEMONIC?? And just where is Michelle???
I’m going to shock everyone with this and say that the cheetah and I actually LIKED this little combo “found footage/paranormal/CSI Miami” of a film. While the story itself is “meh” what was cool about “Demonic” was the acting. From top to bottom,the acting in this little indie film was really strong and it starts with the two veteran leads,Grillo and Bello. Both completely bought into the story and it really elevated the whole movie much more then you would have hoped.
The students were also good,Milligan has a slight creepy look to him even when he is standing still. I thought both Cody Horn as Michelle and Megan Park as Jules were portrayed as young,smart women who didn’t rattle easy as most horror actresses are required to do. They carried their weight and Jules daring attitude into the unknown was fresh and unique.
Aaron Yoo as Donnie and Tyson Sullivan as Luke,the tech gurus,could have used a bit more backstory,they merely felt like Red Shirts in a Star Trek episode rather then two skilled techies who also were friends and comrades.
Scott Mechlowicz who played the group’s leader Bryan was also good. It took me a minute to recognize him because I hadn’t him onscreen since he played “Scotty” in the cult favorite “Eurotrip”.
The set design was effective as well as the effects,the score,while not outstanding,was decent as well as the direction. My biggest problem with “Demonic” is something I have been noticing now for a while and that is it’s run time. The movie’s ending felt rushed and that some of the story wasn’t told as well as it could and should have been.
The run time for “Demonic” is only 83 minutes long but that seems to be the normal now,when I look at films,I’m seeing movies only lasting into the 70-78 minute range and quite honestly,it doesn’t bode well if you are trying to tell a fully thought out story.
“Demonic” is rated “R” and has no special features.
The cheetah and I gave this movie a thumbs/paws straight up.