Blu Ray Review: Night of the Demons (2009)


Night of the Demons

EOne Entertainment





The original Night of the Demons is a campy Halloween movie featuring a likable cast, gory violence, gratuitous nudity, and a thin layer of humor which makes the movie, above all else, fun.  This remake isn’t.

The three previous Night of the Demons movies had a ‘good girl’ lead, and the closest we get to that in this one is Maddi.  Maddi does comes off as nice, but that just makes everything else about her character hard to believe; her ex-boyfriend is a drug dealer, and she’s spending Halloween at some sort of rave party.  Then, in true generic-horror movie style, she becomes a virtual superhero at the end, MacGyvering some anti-demon weapons and taking them on for no apparent reason.

Her two friends are Suzanne and Lily, who are completely interchangeable, even down to their mutual choice of slutty cat girl costumes.  They aren’t Halloween sluts, their shared sluttiness is real and just about the only character trait they display throughout the film.  Joining them are two men, Dex and Jason who are also interchangeable, except for the fact that one dies early, and the other lingers on.  I don’t remember which was which, but it doesn’t really matter.

Colin, the drug dealing ex-boyfriend also attends the rave.  He is given a silly, pointless back story involving his drug lord, who has ordered Colin to sell a bunch of drugs at the party or he will be killed.  This subplot goes nowhere and is quickly forgotten.  I think it was only included so that they could shoot the scene with Colin and his drug lord in a strip club, thus increasing the film’s nipple count.

Lastly, we have Angela, played by Shannon Elizabeth (who is 38 but doesn’t look it).  In this incarnation of the film, Angela is a party promoter of sorts, who sets up the rave at the possessed house (she knows nothing of the possession).  The only real character trait she shows is a desire for money.  She’s neither creepy nor menacing enough to pull off a demonic villain role.

Once the rave is broken up by the police, and only the named characters remain, the demons strike.  The original film focused on the demon possession spreading to all the kids one-by-one by way of gruesome murders.  This time around, most of the demons are created over the course of a few minutes, with most of the movie being devoted to the survivors trying to hold out for the night, using conveniently placed deus ex machinas.

The demon makeup, at least, is an improvement over the original.  Though the mediocre direction, with its overuse of quick-shots and fast-forward camera pans make it hard to appreciate it.

This movie bares very little resemblance to the original.  The style and plot are mostly tossed out in favor of modern generic teen-horror movie cliches.  Linnea Quigley has a cameo in which she hands out candy.  She’s wearing a ballerina costume and bends over to show her underwear, in a homage to a similar camera angle from the original.  Another scene replicates the ‘sticking a tube of lipstick through a breast’ trick from the original, though it’s less creepy this time around.  With so many changes, I don’t know why they bothered to take the name.

This remake of Night of the Demons sucked all the life and originality out of the franchise.  Higher production values failed to cover for the trite script and amateurish direction.  As a modern teen horror movie, it’s okay, at best.