- Year of Release
- IFC Midnight
- 1 hr 44 mins
Demonic possession movies are a dime a dozen. So the news that Neil Blomkamp was entering the horror genre for the first time as both writer and director was definitely a reason to get excited. Perhaps the nostalgia of remembering how good some of his previous films have been contributed to that. But alas, this was not the type of film worthy of those expectations.
Demonic follows Carly (Pope), a character that just seemed a little off to me. And while she wasn’t exactly the type that oozes personality and charm, there was something about her. For lack of a better word, this “hook” is good enough to keep audiences interested. What’s Carly’s story, and why does she seem so guarded? The film offers little background, which didn’t necessarily make it easy to connect with any of the characters. The plot eventually loses all direction about halfway through. Ultimately, Carly seemed to be doing a good enough job for audiences to follow her. But the film features way too many failed jump scares to ignore. Its foundation seemed to be slipping throughout, creating cracks in the plot a mile wide as a result. In the end, the film left audiences with too many questions and not enough answers.
For the most part, Demonic revolves around Carly and her relationship with her mother, Angela (Boltt). Carly despises her, and it seems she’s a horrible person who has done terrible things. But Angela was the most interesting character as all roads inevitably lead back to her. But it’s not enough to keep viewers engaged, and shortly after, the film devolves into silly territory. Though the film’s subject matter had real potential and certainly could have been something worth watching, it, unfortunately, falls short. The history between Carly and her mother may have been an interesting plot point to expand upon. Instead, it veers off in a weird direction that is even less believable than Angela’s minimal backstory.
Although strained, Carly’s connection to her mother was a relatively good entry point into the film. But the scene in Carly’s bedroom really spoils things from then on. It wasn’t scary in the least, and it was poorly written. As with any film, if the story doesn’t flow naturally, you’re going to lose the audience’s attention. And if you’re not even feeling a little bit afraid, there’s something wrong. You’re not afraid for Carly, Sam, or even Martin because you don’t feel connected enough to care.
While it’s great to see directors stretching themselves artistically, the horror genre arguably isn’t Blomkamp’s thing. Every director has their ” dud ” film at some point in their careers, and this is almost certainly his. At the end of the day, Demonic as a film has many pitfalls, and for those looking for a reason to be scared, they won’t find it here.
Originally reviewed for Keithlovesmovis by Julie
Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.