July 14, 2011

Night Of The Demons (2009)

Directed by Adam Gierasch. Starring Shannon Elizabeth ("Angela"), Monica Keena ("Maddie"), Dora Baird ("Lily"), and Michael Copon ("Dex"). Rated R. Body Count: 7. Boob Count: 9.

Source: Region 1 DVD (E1)
Run time: 01:32:36
Country: USA

A remake of an 80's cult classic in which a Halloween house party is crashed by a demonic force.

While I wouldn't consider it essential horror viewing, I'm assuming most of you have seen the original 1988 NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. In case you haven't, the plot is quite simple: a group of obnoxious, socially-diverse high school kids throw a Halloween party at some abandoned house in the middle of nowhere and unintentionally unleash a demon who possesses the Goth chick Angela. In the remake, Angela is a socialite who's responsible for throwing the obligatory Halloween party, except it takes place in a supposedly haunted house that she rented. And instead of a group of characters uniting for the sake of partying, the characters here are brought together because of the party. Amongst them are a sleazy drug dealer played by Edward Furlong and the tough Final Girl played by Monica Keena, just to name a few. Corpses are discovered in the basement, a string of demonic possessions ensues, and a small group of party-goers are left to fight for their survival.

I can't give director Adam Gierasch credit for a lot (take a look at his filmography and you'll understand why *cough*MOTHEROFTEARS), but he at least does a good job here of tweaking the original story and not making it too much of a replica of the 1988 film. Regardless of whether or not he went into this with the right ideas or no ideas at all, it starts out somewhat promising but gradually falls apart to the point where it becomes yet another lazy, cliched horror movie in the big scheme of things. It's like Gierasch tried too hard to set up certain points he felt he had to hit in order to pay homage to the original, like the random dance sequence involving Angela and the infamous lipstick scene. The problem with that is that these scenes sort of feel out of place in the film, and they seem like nothing more than obligatory moments that are in the film for the sake of appeasing fans of the original.

If you loathe stupid info-dumps in films that just reek of lazy writing, you'll probably get upset at the amount of them in this remake. Holy fuck. All Hell inevitably breaks loose and suddenly one of the characters is an expert on demons. Really?! Go fuck yourself. Something else worth mentioning is the fact that the characters who don't turn into demons immediately react with violence upon realizing that something just isn't right with the handful of party-goers who succumb to whatever curse that's plaguing them. Granted they should have reacted violently, but I find it funny that a prank being played on them was never taken into consideration. I mean, it is Halloween after all. But no, they're automatically aware of the fact that demons are amongst them and act accordingly. Like I said, certain points needed to be hit and blood needed to be shed... everything in between just seemed to be an auto-pilot.

I realize I'm probably being way too critical of this remake, especially since I'm not a huge fan of the original in the first place, but I gotta calls it like I sees it. On the other hand, if you can watch this without critical eyes, you won't be completely disappointed. Like a couple of other films that Gierasch either wrote or directed, MORTUARY and AUTOPSY, this one has its fun moments but is far from being a "good" movie. If anything, it's a good background movie that you can tune in and out of, thanks to some wild cinematography and a relentless soundtrack of Horror Punk and Death Rock tunes from the likes of TSOL, 45 Grave, Concrete Blonde, and Type O Negative, just to name a few, and of course the blood and boob factor. Personally, I'll stick to the original, just because it has a Bauhaus song in it.

Score: 6


  1. What's up, Aaron?

    First, it's been a while since I've been able to comment on your reviews, as I've never seen an episode of Supernatural and am far behind in my Dolph Lungren cinema. Quick point--I am checking out Supernatural now, and I certainly appreciate your coverage of the show.

    As for NoTD, I was kind of looking forward to this remake. It has a pretty good cast,and surprisingly, as sexy as many of its cast are, the film is not very sexy. The dance sequence could have been a highlight, but like most of the flick, falls flat.

    The script needed to be worked up or thinned out or something. It's just not good. Visually, though, there is some nice stuff here, but it's not enough to carry this film. It's nothing worth revisiting, and it's a shame as it could have been fun Halloween-time viewing.

    You're doing great work, as usual, Aaron, and I hope everything is cool in your neck of the woods. Looking forward to more. Later, gator.

  2. What's up, stranger? I thought you decided to stop commenting on my blog like the rest of my old readers. Nice hearing from you.

    Yeah, I suppose The Death Rattle has been all Supernatural and Dolph Lundgren lately. I agree with all the points you bring up about NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. I think it all comes down to Adam Gierasch handling this project carelessly, considering the cast and resources he had to work with. Judging by what little I know about him, he seems like someone who doesn't have a vision of what he wants to do and is content with making movies just because he enjoys the process, not because he wants to make good films; I could be wrong, but his movies - including this one - speak for themselves.

    In the end, I wasn't completely disappointed by it, though. It captures the Halloween spirit well, in my opinion, and I'd probably revisit it as the holiday approaches, but wouldn't make it a point to do so.

  3. The characters in this movie are very annoying. Even the hot chicks unfortunately. I really do like the music in the movie. It's great!

  4. The thing I liked most about the NoTD remake was how much I DIDN'T hate Edward Furlong, for once. I normally can't stand that fuckin' dude. But he was decent in this, I thought, and his "it's a fucking PANTRY!" line cracked me up. Also, Diora Baird is hot as hell, even -with- maggots & shit spewed all over her.

  5. rf13: The soundtrack was pretty rockin' indeed.

    Astro: Funny you say that. I was thinking the SAME thing when I watched the movie. He was actually my favorite person in the movie because of how out of place he seemed.

    As always, thanks for the comments, guys.

  6. Haven't seen this yet, but I have to admit I quite enjoyed AUTOPSY...

  7. There were aspects of AUTOPSY that I definitely enjoyed, but it didn't really do anything for me as a whole. Different strokes.