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Demonic (2015)

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.


Director Will Canon's (Brotherhood) film begins with the aftermath of a slaughter in an abandoned house. The police arrive, psychologist, there is one survivor, John, and the film unfolds largely in flashback / found footage, mixed in with the corresponding "in the present" investigation.

Canon doesn't have a slew of experience behind the camera, but he does create a fairly solid - if by the numbers - haunted house / possession flick with Demonic. Immediately set apart from some other films of the genre, it boasts high production values, and some bigger named stars, giving Canon an edge to work with. It's dark - sometimes visually too much so - and eerie - he has created a good sense of timing and has pretty good eye "for the shot". It's well enough made that some of the generic-ness of the screenplay can be overlooked. 

Max La Bella (debut) has tried his hand at writing here, and his inexperience shows with cliques across the board. Big spooky house? Check. Idiots summoning demons? Check. Telegraphed twist ending? Check.

That said, it comes across as well made, and it's an easy enough watch. 

Taking up the mantle of star power, we have Maria Bello (Lights Out) as psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, and Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy) as investigating detective, Mark Lewis. Both do a good job and raise the bar on what could have slid backwards with the generic writing. The body count players are led by survivor John, played extremely well by Dustin Milligan (Final Destination 3).

There are some well made scenes, and with the decent acting and a reasonable budget it passes the time amicably. For the bulk of the second act most of the scares come from jumps and stings - but Grillo featuring heavily in the first act, and the big reveal in the third (along with the expected horror movie excitement), the average middling is forgiven. It's not a bad example of the genre, but not the best.

Worth a watch, just don't expect vomiting in the aisles.

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