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The Demon Inside (2017)


Years after his release from jail, Sam Parsons is trying to build the his life with his wife Courtney and their young daughter Harper. He works hard to provide for his family and afford their beautiful home in their quiet suburban neighborhood. When supernatural occurrences start to happen in the house, Sam fears for the safety of his wife and daughter.


A young family in a house. A ghost. These are fairly trope these days. Everything from Poltergeist to Paranormal Activity. And to be honest, indie flicks tend not to fair well with them. They need exceptional direction, on point acting, everything needs to be in the right place to trip the trope and make it scary. Think: The Conjuring.

I take my hat off to you, Joey Moran. In the first act writer and director Moran (The Z Virus) creates a fiendishly good setup. From the very opening Moran's use of color and shot choice is outstanding. Protagonist, Sam Parsons is awakened by the house alarm sounding in the middle of the night. He scours the house, gun drawn, moving from the deep blues of the night to the orange hue of the lights outside. It drips style, but not only that, it draws you in - you're in the house, too - but you're not alone. After Sam's wife sees a face - a ghoul - a ghost - an entity, Sam sees something too. Moran takes fleeting shots - blink and you miss it - never giving too much away. As a horror fan, I'm squeeing a little at the excellent work.

So Sam moves his family out to a nearby motel, and calls for help.

This is where we get a bait and switch on the level Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Til Dawn.

Trope be damned, there is no calling of the clergy, Sam calls in reality TV show, Ghost Killers. Second act: BOOM. Mind blown. And these guys are great.

In the guise of TV's *coughs* Ghost Killers is show host Corbin Carlysle, with Lance, Ray, and Brianna. Corbin is an overpowering douche, Lance, a pretty boy muscle head, Ray is more Tyler Labine than Tyler Labine is, and, well Brianna is the "attraction". But enough spoilers.

Once the second act hits, there is gore, laughs, and scares.

Taking the lead as Sam is Joseph Rene (Run), who handles the role of a long broken down man in his stride. I believed in him throughout the run time and as he grew as a character I was there with him. Long suffering wife, Courtney, played by Madeline Thelton (Big Bad) does an equally impressive job. I felt for her, and knew she was only there for her brood. Finishing the family was daughter, Harper, played by Chloe Lee. An impressive performance for such a young actor - with nothing else under her belt.

Then there is the Ghost Killers. Corbin is amazing. Timothy Talbott (Metal Heads) gleefully plays the character, ripping shreds from similar TV shows - spoofing them all the while playing him completely straight. Same goes for Crew Wyard (Murder Made Me Famous), and Grace Patterson (Texas Zombie Wars: Dallas). John Kviklys (The Z Virus) Tyler Labine's across the screen and you can't help but love him (- watch out for the shower scene!).

Overall the film punches way above it's weight in terms of look - it feels high budget - but has the freedom that only indie film has to tell its story in its own way.

And it is glorious. A must see, and definite contender for Dead Celluloid's Best Indie Film Award this year.

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