Night of the Demons (2010)

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On Halloween night, a promoter sponsors the largest party of her life in an old mansion where six people disappeared many years ago, but when the party gets broken up, a few of the revelers get locked inside the ancient estate, and the small group will soon learn that a bad hangover is the least of their worries. Remake of the 1988 film of the same name.

You have to love how the essential premise of any horror movie is that bad things happen to stupid people far too dumb to recognize any of the obvious signs of evil going on around them. I mean I know being skeptical is the trait of any rational man or woman on this planet, but there comes a point in which even rationality goes out the window and you need to start acting just a little differently. If all your friends are dying, you might want to worry about a serial killer, if rotten diseased looking corpses are consuming the flesh of the living, you might want to worry about zombies, and if you find five desiccated skeletons in the house where six people are said to have disappeared you might want to hop the locked gate and just get the hell out of there. That’s just this reviewer’s opinion.

Our film begins with a nice 1920’s silent film of a séance gone wrong that ends with a woman hanging herself because her husband had become something other than what he appeared. Fast forward several decades to the present (2009, 2010, 2011, just pick a year), where a mysterious woman (later revealed to be party promoter Angela {Shannon Elizabeth}) plans a major Halloween party at the mansion where aforementioned silent film took place. We than get a nice little introduction to our film’s main characters who all happen to be going to the same party; here we get our love connections, our broken hearts, and our whose a silent lover of whom storylines. We also get a little tribute to the original Night of the Demons when the one and only true scream queen Linnea Quigley answers the door for some trick-or-treaters in a ballerina outfit (if you don’t get the reference, go watch the original, it will explain all). As all our film’s human bowling pins slowly show up for the party, it becomes quickly apparent that this party is beyond a hit, it’s the most rocking Halloween party this town’s ever seen…that is until the cops decide to do what they do best and put an immediate stop to any and all fun. When most everyone has left, a few people (those characters introduced individually earlier) stay behind for varying reasons. One (Edward Furlong who plays a drug dealer here instead of his normal life drug taker) has to check out the basement in order to find his lost drugs which were hidden earlier in the aforementioned police raid. While searching the basement he happens upon a secret room containing the rotting skeletal remains of what can only be the missing persons from so long ago. Mr. Drug Dealer decides to let everyone in on his secret and brings the whole group down to partake of the post mortem fun. Unfortunately, party planner Angela ends up being bitten by the “dead” skeleton, causing everyone to leave the room. It’s only after this (as if it could’ve been at any other time) that the small group realizes they’re locked inside the decaying mansion. As the gang prepares for a night locked up in a spooky, old house, things go from bad to worse as it turns out Angela’s little bite is just a means to a demonic end.

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{Pictured: Demonic End}

Night of the Demons is one of those movies you aren’t really going to love, but by far you’re not going to hate either. It’s one of those movies that just falls into the middle of the road category, it’s enjoyable to watch once but isn’t worth spending more than two bucks to rent and definitely not worth the ten to own. As many things as this film does right, it does just as many things wrong and in the end, that’s what killed it.

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{Mistake number 1: No naked Linnea Quigley}

I’m going to get one complaint out of the way right off the bat since it pertains to the original 80’s Night of the Demons and it’s the character of Angela. She was something that made the original great, and for those who haven’t seen the original, I’ll elaborate. Angela was kind of a Horror Hostess in the original, a smart ass, manipulative, leader of the pack Horror Hostess. She led the movie from point A to point B and it made for an interesting character. For the remake, Angela is relegated to the back row as we are forced to take on more and more story as the film proceeds. That was another annoyance of mine; every single character has their own back story that just has to be focused on for small bits at a time. Even as the movie moves toward its climax, we are still stuck dealing with the film’s true love side story between drug dealer Colin and his ex, Maddie, not to mention the long lost lovers of Dex and Lily, Pre-Demon Angela’s money woes, or even Collin and Angela’s mysterious past together. It was just too much. I don’t care who loves who, who banged who, or who wants to bang who; I just want to see some demonic carnage without all the extra teen drama. What made me laugh so hard was that with all this extra story they leave amazingly large plot holes in the film’s main story. How did the maid involved in the 1920’s séance survive long enough to write protection spells on her walls; how did a supposedly massive police investigation not turn up the dead bodies lying around openly in the basement, and why is this the first time in almost a hundred years the demons have chosen to act? Too many questions and not nearly enough answers…unless of course it pertains to a certain character’s love life, then you’ll get more answers than you need.

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{Pre demon Angela may be hotter but at least post demon Angela shuts up about her love life}

My only other major complaint is more of a complaint/compliment and it pertains to some of the random scenes that pop up from time to time. I don’t want to ruin all of them so I’ll just use one as an example. At one point in the movie there is a demon sex orgy with all the party goers turned denizens of hell. It was definitely interesting if not completely disturbing but in the end it just came out of nowhere. It had no point, suddenly just popping up for no reason at all and there are an unfortunate amount of scenes like this. They aren’t bad, they just come out of left field and lose their impact in the confusion.

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{There’s a lot of demon sex in this movie}

Okay, so I’ve bitched about the movie enough, what about the good? Well, there are three things that keep this movie from going to the very bottom of the bargain bin, the acting, effects, and the creativity. The acting is surprisingly good here; we even get a great performance out of the actor who could’ve been something great, Edward Furlong (though he looks absolutely terrible after so many years of rampant drug abuse, we all like to have some fun but come on man, we all have limits too). I can’t say I have any real complaints for the actors; they even manage to pull off the cheesy dialogue with a sense of dignity. Kudos my friends. The effects are a great combination of good old fashioned real effects and CGI, with a leaning more toward the practical effects. I was very impressed and this actually leads directly into how much I enjoyed the film’s creativity in both deaths and demon design, and the demon design is an improvement over the original in this humble zombie’s eyes. In the original flick, even though the makeup was great, the party goers turned demons still looked like your generic demonic zombies while in the remake every demon has his or her own distinct look. This wouldn’t have mattered if there wasn’t an amazing make up team to do the job, but thankfully some of the best talent in Hollywood was gathered to make the demons what they were here, and how these poor saps get turned into ravaging hellions is beyond creative at times, but I’m not giving away a thing there.

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{This isn’t a scene from the movie, just Edward Furlong on a good day}

I had one more compliment to the film, but this is one that is really going to depend on the person…I loved the music. If you aren’t a musically diverse person than this probably won’t matter to you, but if you’re down to hear a few bands you may never have heard of play some great songs than you’ll definitely love what’s here. This member of the living dead happens to love music of all forms (except club and country, sorry but I’m not down to hear either annoying beats put together randomly or sappy songs about losing your dog), and because of this I have to give credit to Night of the Demons’ producers.

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{Demons are nothing if not fans of great music}

All in all, I liked it for a one time watch, but there’s no way I’d watch it again. Though I did buy a few extra CD’s after viewing the film. This reviewer says give it a shot.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Adam Gierasch (Fertile Ground, Autopsy)

Starring: Shannon Elizabeth (Thirteen Ghost, American Pie), Edward Furlong (Terminator 2, American History X), Monica Keena (Loaded, Freddy vs. Jason), and Diora Baird (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days).

Released By: Cold Fusion Media Group, Parallel Media, Seven Arts Pictures, and Voodoo Production Services

Release Type: Straight to Video

Release Year: 2009

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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