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Night Of The Demons (2009)

DVD Cover (Entertainment One)
Movie Connections:
Night Of The Demons
> Night Of The Demons (1988)
> Night Of The Demons (2009)
Genres / Traits:
Haunted House Film, Horror, Supernatural Horror, Halloween
Director:
Adam Gierasch Adam Gierasch
Starring:
Tatyana Kanavka Tatyana Kanavka
Michael Arata Michael Arata
Shannon Elizabeth Shannon Elizabeth
Linnea Quigley Linnea Quigley
Bryce Arata Bryce Arata

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 07, 2010
The original Night of the Demons is one of those films that I thought could benefit from the remake treatment. I mean, it's an above-average slice of eighties horror that suffered from a small handful of problems, so all one would have to do is go back, retain the spirit of the original, and fix said problems to put together something memorable. Correct the mistakes made by the original filmmakers, update some of the special effects, throw in a twist or two, and you have yourself one hell of a remake. Sadly, I walked away from this one disappointed, but at least it wasn't the worst remake I've seen this year.

The storyline has a bit more depth to it this time around with a few more explanations, but basically, it's the same thing that we got from the original release. Angela (Shannon Elizabeth) is throwing a big Halloween party at a haunted mansion in New Orleans, and things are going well until the police show up and shut everything down. Fortunately for our plot, six of the party guests - Maddie (Monica Keena), Jason (John F. Beach), Dex (Michael Copon), Lily (Diora Baird), Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther), and Colin (Edward Furlong) - along with Angela herself are trapped inside the mansion grounds. A magically-sealed gate bars them from exiting the grounds, so naturally, they head inside to drink the night away. It doesn't take long before the demons possess one of them, and from there, it plays out almost like a zombie flick: the infected bites or screws somebody to infect them with another demon spirit, those two bite or screw somebody to infect them, and soon, there are more demons than there are humans. As the old saying goes: "Who will survive, and what will be left of them?"

I never saw the sequels of the original film, but there were a number of questions left unanswered when that first movie ended: where did these demons come from? Why were they there, and what did they want? These questions are answered in this film, and although the answers are a little hokey and uninspired (you've seen this before, trust me), knowing the motives and goals did make the film flow a little better. There are a few moments where you're instantly reminded that this is a horror film courtesy of the questionable decisions and story arcs, but then, what horror movie doesn't feature a few moments like that? The ending was stupid, but otherwise, none of the writing in the film really stood out as downright bad. Average, maybe, but for fans of trashy horror flicks, it wasn't that bad.

Now for the bad. The one thing that irked me to no end about this movie was the abundant use of modern film techniques. It's like the filmmakers went to CGI 101 and decided to bring all of their education to this movie, and the results were disappointing. One of the demons looks pretty neat, I'll give them that, but otherwise, they range from "silly" to "stupid." I'm not being a fanboy here, but the demon effects were ten times better in the original film - twenty years in the film industry is supposed to produce better makeup effects, not worse. I also hated the way that every scene where anything remotely interesting was happening was given the fast-motion treatment: you know, the way we see things in normal motion, and then everything shifts to 8x fast-forward when the leading lady so much as takes a drink from a bottle. I hate that effect in other movies, and I hated it just as much here.

The gore effects suffer the same fate, as the ones that weren't weak to begin with suffer from too much CGI. Wait: there's a gut-ripping scene that is neat and the updated "lipstick trick" gave me a chuckle, I'll give credit where credit is due. Other than that, the kills are either boring or obviously computer-generated, and I don't know about you, but I'd rather see a bad practical effect than a decent CGI effect any day of the week. There's a face-ripping scene found in here that will perfectly illustrate why I hate this technology when placed in the wrong hands.

Linnea Quigley is by far the best actress in the movie as everyone else is either downright awful or merely acceptable by horror standards. That's fine and all, you always get one great character who is surrounded by bumbling co-stars, but the problem here is that Mrs. Quigley only has a ten-second cameo appearance. Shannon Elizabeth falls more on the "average" side of things, surprisingly, and though her rendition of Angela wasn't painful to watch, it doesn't hold a candle to the original. Edward Furlong... well, Ed's weight has went way up while his acting abilities have went way down. I don't want to poke too much fun at his weight gain, but damn, it's rather telling when everyone in the room erupts into laughter and starts cracking jokes when his character falls through the floor for no apparent reason.

Overall, the Night of the Demons remake is an average enough film, but it's wholly forgettable and doesn't live up to the original. This is one of those movies that you'd want to skip a purchase of... just rent it, pop it in on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and forget all about it ninety minutes later. That's not a hearty recommendation, but it's not an out-and-out dismissal, either. 5/10.
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benloveshorror #1: benloveshorror - added 11/11/2010, 09:25 PM
I bought this the day it came out thinking that I would surely love it, since I loved the first NOTD and the sequel NOTD 2. But it was just okay. What I don't get is that so many people are saying it's just as good as the first one. In my opinion there wasn't enough demon action or Shannon Elizabeth. There was still some entertainment to be had here, but just like this years Nightmare on Elm Street remake, it can't touch the original. I give it a 6/10.
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