Night of the Demons 2
The events of the first Night of the Demons are now the stuff of ghost stories, told by candle light to lingerie-clad Catholic school girls. Unfortunately, one of those school girls is Melissa ‘Mouse’ Franklin, the younger sister of Angela, the first girl possessed by the demons in the first film (and the poster girl for this one).
Night of the Demons 2 introduces a much more substantial (though not better) plot than its prequel. St. Rita’s High School is ruled by a laid back priest and a cliched authoritative nun, Gloria (I say cliched because of the collection of rulers she uses for whacking students). The group of kids the film focuses on have a similar assortment of character traits as those in the first movie. There’s Bibi, the good girl who sticks up for Mouse when she’s being bullied by Shirley, the slutty girl who’s dating a thug named Rick, who calls her ‘sweet tits.’
Bibi is dating Johnny, who has the beginnings of a mullet, but is otherwise completely indistinguishable from his friend, Kurt, who is dating Terri, who is blond and nothing else of note.
Then there’s Z-Boy, who is the first to die, and good riddance.
Not part of the group is Perry, who I think is the Catholic school equivalent of a science nerd. But instead of science, he’s obsessed with demonology, and thus becomes something of a boy who cried wolf when actual demons start popping up.
The first Night of the Demons was light in tone, but this one is even more so, often to the point of comedy (not that it’s funny). The demons in the first film were a little exuberant, but it came off as sadistic. In this movie, they’re comic relief, and not terribly effect at that.
The bigger problem, though, is that Perry and Gloria find a way to fight the demons. Perry loads water guns with holy water, and the sister carries around a cross, both of which are highly effective at destroying them. This grossly weakens the demons’ value as monsters and eliminates any sense of danger or suspense (even though a lot of people still die). It ceases to be horror and becomes an action movie.
The simple set-up of the original Night of the Demons had a few benefits. The first was that it left more time for the fun stuff: sex and gory violence. The second was that it created an unpredictability. The fact that we never got to know the characters meant that none of them were pegged as ‘heroes’ from the start, resulting in some unexpected deaths. The long lead up in the sequel kills that. We know exactly who the important characters are, and that they will survive till the end. Of course, that’s no different from most horror movies.
This movie feels like a mildly adult version of Monster Squad. It’s a bunch of kids fighting non-threatening monsters. There’s even a scene when the wimpy Mouse, upon killing one of the demons, says, ‘My name…is Melisa!’
Night of the Demons 2 carried over some shallow trappings of the original, but killed a lot of what made that film so enjoyable. Taken on its own, it’s an okay low budget horror movie, but as a sequel to the great Night of the Demons, it’s a disappointment.
The Blu Ray looks great. It’s sharp, while retaining a film-like quality. The dark scenes are a little grainy, as you’d expect; but it’s a vast improvement over the full-frame DVDs which were the only way to see the film until now. The main extra is an audio commentary from the director and cinematographer.