Night of the Demons (2009)
By: Devon B. on December 16, 2010  | 
Beyond | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 5.1 | 88 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Adam Gierasch
Starring: Monica Keena, Edward Furlong, John F. Beach, Shannon Elizabeth, Diora Baird, Bobbi Sue Luther
Screenplay: Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson
Country: USA
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I don't remember much about the original Night of the Demons except Linnea Quigley's show stealing distraction and an either tongue in cheek or unintentionally hilarious coda about applesauce. I didn't like the film much and would've forgotten the movie entirely if Brian Trenchard-Smith hadn't showed the world that there was fun to be had with the material with his amazingly good sequel. When I saw the original was being remade I hoped it would be fun like Night of the Demons 2. I should've done a tad more research on the remake before getting it, because it's been made by the people that brought us Mortuary, Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson. Night of the Demons is several notches above that clunker, but still doesn't break them out of direct to video mediocrity.

The basic story has had a bit of a tweak, but doesn't stray too far from the original's party in a haunted house plot. Angela, now doing e-vites because this is a modern retelling, again hosts a Halloween party, this time at a house where a bunch of people disappeared and a woman hung herself on Halloween years before. Edward Furlong, stepping up slightly from the abysmal Cruel World, is a small time drug dealer who has to sell big at the party or he's in trouble. Furlong looks terrible, but he must be fairly fit because he's able to toss demons off his back with ease. Anyway, the cops shut the party down, and Furlong, some stragglers and Angela stay behind after all the others leave. Furlong easily finds a hidden room in the basement which contains corpses, a development that makes you wonder if the police who were investigating the earlier disappearances even took a cursory look around the house, and then Angela gets possessed by a demon. Trapped on the property by a now mysteriously locked gate, the friends hunker down to unwillingly spend the night, little realising it won't be boredom that kills them.

The remake has quite a few nods to the original like bad acting, poor scripting, stupid dialogue, lame jokes and Linnea Quigley reprising her famous moment, but it really should have been more in the vein of Trenchard-Smith's follow up because that was, you know, good. The risqué content has been upped from the original, with demon anal sex and a more explicit ending to the original's lipstick gag, but the film has far less nudity. There's just a fleeting glimpse of one woman's chest, then some breasts that are either a fake mould or a terrible cross to bear for the poor actress that sports them. Other than that, clothes stay on. The gore is okay, but there's not a huge amount, and the demon makeup is laughable. The worst is Angela's, which makes her look like some sort of pasty goat monster.

The film directs a valid criticism at those that would pick apart the nonsensical proceedings, but then sets itself up for attack by trying to logically explain things like the demons' aversion to rust. Yes, rust. I don't get it either. Setting up the script for logical examination was a bad idea because the movie has a fairly major plot hole that means the demons are either racist or so stupid they deserve to be defeated.

It's quite clear where most of the budget for Night of the Demons was spent. The soundtrack features songs from T.S.O.L., Type O Negative ("Black No. 1," no less) and Concrete Blonde, not to mention a few other recognisable horror themed punk and rock acts. Because all the money went to licensing these songs, there was unfortunately nothing left to hire a decent screenwriter, so director Gierasch decided once again to collaborate with Anderson. It's either that or these two still fancy themselves good writers despite having Mortuary on their resume.
Night of the Demons looks a bit dark, which was probably done on purpose, but results in some clarity loss. The film has a few spots and some noticeable video grain in a few short sequences, but is otherwise clean, except for deliberate attempts to make the flashbacks look like an old movie.
It's not listed on the slick, but the DVD does include a 5.1 mix which is a good thing because the track is the best thing about the movie, and not just because it has some good music on it. The mix is loud, things come out to get you, and there're lots of little touches to immerse you in the film. There's a 2.0 mix included as well, but it's completely unnecessary since it lacks the dynamics of the 5.1 When I cranked up the volume it was almost like the movie was assaulting me, which I loved.
Extra Features
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Trenchard-Smith showed how well a direct to video movie can be done in this very franchise, but this remake is more middling horror from a scriptwriting team that appear to thrive on it. It seems they're genuinely dedicated and love the genre, but they need to bring someone in to doctor their scripts if they ever want to produce anything great.

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