Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Night of the Demons (2009)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  At least it isn't the night of the personal demons.  Regular demons would seem like a vacation.

Night of the Demons (2009) – 2 out of 5

Three years ago I watched the original Night of the Demons for the first time ever.  The feature has a cult following and I’m going to guess that is because it is a bonkers 80s horror feature and the fact it has a sequence where a woman (possessed by a demon) inserts lipstick into her breast.  Well, in the early 00’s, this cult classic was remade and, in my opinion, is about as good as the original.  And by that, I’m mean I didn’t really care for either of these films in any way beyond finding them to be great silly, accidental comedies.

Linnea Quigley from the first film makes a cameo appearance...
and recreates a famous shot from it.  I won't go into detail.

"You have something in your hair!"
Angela Feld (Shannon Elizabeth) is hosting the biggest Halloween in the city and she is hosting it at the home of Evangeline Broussard, a woman who hung herself in 1925 after her home was invaded by demons.  Friends Maddie (Monica Keena), Lily (Doird Baird) and Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther) arrive at the party but find that Maddie’s ex; Colin (Edward Furlong), is there selling drugs.  The cops are quick to shut the party down but Maddie, Lily, Suzanne, Angela, Colin, and Lily’s boyfriend Dex (Michael Copon) and his friend Jason (John F. Beach) are stuck in the house and the exterior gates seem to be locked.  In the basement, they discover some skeletons and, after cutting her finger on one of the skulls, Angela finds herself possessed and is now out to infect the others and make them demons themselves!

"Join us and you too can pose up a storm as a demon!"

So, Diord Baird's character gets possessed through
sex.  Would that be a Supernatural Sexually
Transmitted Infection?  An SSTI?
This remake has a lot of the characteristics of the first film as it contains purely gratuitous nudity (I’m sure a certain sector of the horror fans out there would have burned the world to the ground if the lipstick scene wasn’t around), goofy looking makeup effects, meh acting, pretty decent gore effects, and a simplistic and sorta cliché story.  However, this time around the film decides it wants to be utterly unbearable to watch as it is loud AF.  The soundtrack is filled with hard rock pieces from that era and the production really wants you to notice them as the movie has tons of montage-esque sequences set to those songs and the levels are obnoxiously high.  

I don't know, for some reasons when I see the demons the loud soundtrack
just seems to make sense.

The cast in the film is decent.  Shannon Elizabeth is laying it on super thick but it is definitely within the spirit (get it?) of the feature.  The rest of the cast does a decent enough job for what the overall product is.  No one is that noticeably attention-grabbing but no one is giving a bad performance either.  

I don't blame her for overacting.  I would overact like a madman if I was on
a production of a cheesy horror movie.

They noticed the demons eat pizza with pineapple
on it.
Like a majority of all remakes, this film changes up the story in little ways.  The core is still there but you have some adjustments to keep the thing fresh but familiar.  For the most part, the changes don’t do much to either improve or hinder the story but there is on element that was a touch aggravating.  Colin is a drug dealer who gets in bad with his supplier and now has to cough up a substantial amount of cash in the morning.  Is this bit of backstory absolutely necessary?  Not really.  Will it harm the film for existing?  No but there’s no closure to this story.  I wouldn’t argue that I needed this bit of backstory closed up but it does give the feeling that the writing was rushed and even half-assed.  Spoiler Alert:  Colin doesn’t survive the night in the haunted house.  Sure, there is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek element due to the fact if he didn’t get the money in time he was going to be killed and instead died from demon possession but the film doesn’t present itself as smart enough, witty enough or with enough dimension for this element to work and, instead, just made the product feel a bit incomplete.

He died and the next day Skynet went live. Thanks, Demons!

I'm assuming the sequence of the demons making out was
added just to add some time to the running length.
Night of the Demons is good for a laugh but the scares aren’t there to make it a good horror watch.  It has some cool gore effects but there were some moments that are really cheesy and add to the accidental comedic nature of the property and the makeup effects end up just looking like something you’d find in a Halloween store but on the higher end of the spectrum—essentially, they’re not bad but they are still lower than movie quality.  Basically, the demons shouldn’t look like average costume goers I’d see at a Halloween party…if I ever left my house or had any friends.  Even the atmosphere of the film wasn’t conducive to horror as it felt more cynical than genuine but never cynical enough where it could have embraced a dark comedy aesthetic.   Finally, there is the just obnoxious soundtrack that is way too overbearing to ever enhance or highlight the demonic action you are seeing.  Overall, the film is too loud, too apathetic towards its own existence, and too silly with some of its elements to really be a decent Halloween watch.  Like I said, it is good for a laugh and to riff on but that’s about it for me with this one.

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