Last year we started the Halloween festivities with a review of an old movie (Fright Night), which has since been re-made and released this year. This year we start with the remake of Night of the Demons.
What's in the cauldron for this film? Take an old legend about six missing guests and a suicidal hostess all last seen together in a creepy old plantation house (surprisingly well-depicted with a scratchy sepia-and-beige silent film-style flashback), a bunch of modern twentysomethings ready to go party down, and mix in Halloween. Throw a trio of nobody actresses into the mix (two parts trampy and one average 'everygirl') two male stoners (one hot, one not), a has-been actor (Eddie Furlong as Colin) and a stereotypical hot chick actress (Shannon Elizabeth as Angela).
Here you have Night of the Demons. A wild Halloween party engineered by Angela (and attended by the six others mentioned above) gets shut down by the police. For ridiculous reasons – a friend passed out behind the sofa, needing to retrieve some drugs that urgently need to be sold from the furnace duct in which they were shoved when the cops showed up – our main characters are among the last to leave the house. Then a locked outer gate that can't be opened from the inside provides a thinly-veiled excuse for all seven of them to spend Halloween night in this haunted house.
While searching for dealer Colin's drug packets, the group stumbles upon a grouping of six skeletons placed in a circle in a hidden room in the cellar. They theorize these could be the missing guests from the legend surrounding this rented house. Angela bends down to inspect a strange glowing object on one of the skeletons…and it bites her.
And then things start to get weird.
Turns out the former owner of this home was contacting the spirit world and accidentally unleashed seven demons who are all big jerks and can only re-enter this world if they possess seven humans on Halloween night. The gang's all here, and Angela's ready to start a demon party.
The shenanigans involved in turning the stranded partygoers into demons – generally biting or sex – are actually a little disturbing. One of the most cinematically interesting scenes in the movie (in terms of lighting, mood and use of levitation) is a demon-turning to the tune of "Black No. 1" by Type O Negative.
For a while, it seems this movie might buck the usual 'last one standing' theme in scary films. In fact, the movie drags a bit during the standoff between the three humans safe – yet trapped – in a magically protective room, but then the balance – or rather, imbalance – between evil and good is restored.
Overall, rather a diamond in the rough among the horror fare available for instant viewing.
- Like a rocking soundtrack to your scary movies
- Feel like ogling some hot chicks in skimpy cat costumes (until they turn into hell beasts with a taste for blood, a Skeletor face and/or slimy tentacles they can shoot from their boobs).
- Have about an hour and a half to spare for a B movie that has a moderately decent plot and special effects
Put it in the queue!
However, if you:
- Cherish your memories of the 1990s Eddie Furlong and would be crushed to see him looking more like Fat Elvis than young John Connor.
- Prefer your B movies to only be stupendously bad enough to be good (i.e. nothing of merit except sheer ridiculousness).
- Will only tolerate creepy orchestral/organ music in your scary films instead of punk and metal.
Don’t put it in the queue!
Written by: Jennifer Venson