Dir. Will Canon
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
First things first. despite what the trailer tells you, the poster tells you and everyone who hasn’t seen it tells you, this film is not from James Wan. He may be the poster boy for horror at the moment (and quite rightly so) but production duties do not make a film successful of one mans merits. Those expecting a Wan-esque scarefest turn away now, DEMONIC portrays itself as a ghostly possession film but in reality is a supernatural detective movie that shares more in common with DELIVER US FROM EVIL than GREAVE ENCOUNTERS.
Right, calm. Now to promote what is an interesting entry for the genre in Will Canon’s take on a paranormal investigation to witness the dead. When amateur investigators head to a house famous for a culling of investigators a decade before, history looks set to repeat itself and a vicious circle of possession begins.
Following on from the events of the investigators introduces detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) and Dr Klein (Maria Bello) hot on the case to discover what happened in the house and as they capture one of the survivors, the film switches into an investigation into what left the house opposed to what happened.
Refreshingly, Canon has strayed away from the found footage format to deliver something that feels like a traditional ghost story restricting the handhelds for the creepy moments. The real drama is what happens outside of the house as Lewis gets closer to the truth but soon learns that the stories he and Klein had been told may have all been fabrications for the possessed’ s real motives.
While it fails to stretch new ground, there’s enough here to keep genre enthusiasts occupied while delivering a chilling thriller to those who are more accustomed to mainstream horror. The Mulder and Skully duo of Grillo and Bello holds the story together and keeps it outside the pit of doomed generic tripe that has flooded the genre. While it misses out on capturing the vibe of Wan’s work, it gets his seal of approval and is certainly worth a watch for a different take on the possession movie.