“Demonic” aka “Forest of the Damned”
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31 Days of Horror Challenge: Movie #25
Emilio buys a crappy van to take his friends, Judd, Molly, Andrew, and sister, Ally, on a holiday to a remote lake. Along the way, the van, unsurprisingly, starts acting up. After driving all night, Emilio dozes off at the wheel and hits a woman walking in the road. Leaving Emilio and his sister to take care of the woman, Andrew, Judd and Molly walk (because the van is broken down now) off to find help.
This low budget film from the U.K. had a lot of potential, but failed to deliver. With an interesting story concept about a man living in a haunted forest surrounded by fallen angels, it used tried and tired tropes used in hillbilly cannibal flicks.
The good – a beautiful and haunting setting and cinematography. The practical effects and make-up for the fallen angels was great. I don’t care how cheesy Tom Savini can be, he always falls under good for a film, even if he only has a brief appearance.
The bad – I was a little disappointed when the film rather blew its wad by showing the audience its demonic creatures in all their glory within the first few minutes. Along with the lack of backstory, some plot points seem to have been left abandoned and unresolved. I didn’t enjoy the direction in this film, though, it is an earlier film for director Johannas Roberts, who later directed Storage 24, which I did like quite a bit, so yay for improvement. One of the most important aspects for a film for me is good characters. In this most of characters are unlikable or annoying, I really didn’t even want to empathize with them. And, for goodness sake, why an homage to The Breakfast Club?
There is some really random stuff going on in this film and although I get that it is supposed to set an atmosphere of disorientation so that the viewer feels the characters being hunted, it just feels like a confused mess. I’m glad that I watched it, I may even choose to revisit it again, to give it a second chance, but I can’t really recommend it.