With Christmas fast approaching and every man in the public eye apparently being a sex pest, I find myself in need of something spooky to help me escape the horror of the past few weeks and prepare me for the true terror of the holidays.
That escape comes in the form of “Demons”, a film by Miles Doleac centered on the characters of Colin Hampstead, an ex-priest turned successful fiction writer and his wife Kayleigh. The pair were initially brought together by the death of Kayleigh’s sister jewel, during what appears to be a botched exorcism where Colin was the priest in attendance, and are now dealing with the emotional fallout of that fateful day.
The movie takes place in two timelines, the first being the few days leading up to jewel’s eventual death, and the second being 9 years later in the few days before the wedding of Colin’s long time friend Eddie to the comically cliched hippie Lara. The cast of characters reads like a check list of predictable cliches that any studio head would dislocate his shoulder while patting himself on the back for how well he’d done.
The fire and brimstone southern bible thumping dad and meek and obedient mum that set up the premise make sense given that the plot is set around an exorcism but this wasn’t enough on its own so we’re also treated to the cut and paste stereotypes that make up the wedding party.
We have the Groom, Eddie, the drunk English one. Bride to be Lara, who is such a cliche of new age LA hippie chick that I was expecting her to shower in quinoa at any moment.Marcus, who plays the sarcastic black guy character and was so forgettable I had to google him to check his name and his girlfriend, who was so forgettable I didn’t bother.
That said however, there are some good interactions between the characters and some moments that I really did enjoy. The plot walks the line between jewel being demonically possessed and controlled by demons or just abused and psychologically traumatised by events that lead her to act as if she is possessed. The movie shines a light on the possible effects of extreme religious fervour and what it can lead to if you truly believe that the bible, or religious book of your choice, is to be taken literally.
There were lots of little things in this movie that on their own should not have worked, but I found myself entertained and interested in where the story was going and how it would eventually be resolved. The stand out performance for me was by dad jasper, played by Andrew divoff, whose brooding presence and intensity was perfect for the subject matter.
This is not “The Exorcist” by any means and I do think that the last couple of minutes, while interesting, were not really necessary and felt tacked on, but overall this was an interesting and enjoyable film that I enjoyed throughout and would happily recommend.