Wednesday, June 29, 2011

'Night of the Demons' has Halloween gore

Night of the Demons (2010)
Starring: Diora Baird, Shannon Elizabeth, Edward Furlong, Monica Keena, Bobbi Sue Luther, John F. Beach, Michael Copon, and Tiffany Shepis
Director: Adam Gierash
Stars: Five of Ten Stars

After an illicit rave in a mansion that was the sight of mysterious disappearances and murder on Halloween night some 90 years ago, the party organizer (Elizabeth) and six friends accidentally discover what happened. In doing so, they awaken demons that have until dawn to possess and destroy seven humans in order escape their prison inside the house.

"Night of the Demons" is a remake of the 1988 horror fan-favorite of the same title. It sat on a shelf at the studio for a year before being released directly to DVD, has a more satisfying ending than the 1988 original (and, in an amusing way, manages to present one of those "final moment twists" I so often rail about that actually works), but other than that it doesn't measure up.

There is only one scene that's as scary and strange as anything in the 1988 film--involving lipstick and about a gallon of blood--but everything else is what we've come to expect from a movie about beautiful young people trapped in a house with demons that possess them and pick them off, one by one. The film has the further flaw that the characters aren't actually trapped, but appear merely to be too dumb to scale the wall around the mansion's grounds; the gate is mysteriously locked, but what's to stop them from giving one of their number a boost over the wall so that person can get a locksmith?

"Night of the Demons" is a fast paced, competently made but unspectacular horror flick. The stars all deliver good performances, it's got just enough story and character development to keep me happy, and its spiced up with plenty of gore and jiggling naked boobs to make me even happier. Perhaps if such a clear line hadn't been drawn to the 1988 title (if it had been called "House of Demons" or "Seven Until Dawn" or some-such), I would have considered it to be among the better paint-by-number horror flicks out there. As it is, however, it suffers by the comparisons it invites and therefore calls attention to the fact that it really does fall at the bottom end of average.

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