Written by: Daniel Hadley
Director: Will Canon
Cast: Maria Bello, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn, Dustin Milligan, Scott Mechlowicz
Having James Wan Attached to this movie – even though he only had a Producer credit – really got my hopes up, although now I know plastering his name all over the picture is just a marketing ploy. Although this is by no means a terrible movie it is not up there with type of quality horror that James Wan can produce, which is a shame because given some tighter direction and a few tweaks to the script this could have been a quality horror movie. As it it’s only slightly above average.
Bumping the grade up straight away is the presence of Frank Grillo. He’s a great actor and does his best here delivering standard sceptical horror movie cop dialogue with ease. Maria Bello is also game and tries her hardest to elevate the material she’s given. Bella, like Grillo, play a cop investigating the site of four grisly murders. While the forensic team sweep through a creepy old house out in the sticks Bello is interrogating the only known survivor and it’s through the interrogation we learn what went down. So through flashback we’re shown all of the events leading up to the police arriving on the scene. A group of college students investigating the paranormal set up shop in a supposedly haunted house where years earlier a multiple murder occurred, that on its own is nothing new, but add in the police interrogation and angle it’s a fairly interesting take on standard horror fair.
The plot has a few twists along the way and goes in a couple of directions I didn’t see coming. That can be both a good and a bad thing as a twist while sometimes brilliant can often be trite and cliché. Demonic treads carefully and while its twist isn’t very original it works for the plot. Demonic is also competently shot and has some well done jump scares. I’m not a big fan of jump scares but done well they are still effective and as long as they aren’t false jump scares I can tolerate them for the most part.
Acting wise there is nothing to complain about although Cody Horn is pretty wooden. The rest of the cast are believable and do well with their roles, they fit the role call of horror archetypes, such as the believer, the sceptic, the asshole and the guy who’s been through it all before. But I knew going in that this wasn’t going to break any new ground, I just wanted a fun, creepy ghost movie and aside from the fact that the ghosts are demons, I got what I paid for and I didn’t regret it.
Haunted house movies seem to be a dime a dozen these days so it was nice to see one that took a slightly different approach. I’d say it was worth a watch, if you get a chance to see it and you’ve got time to kill, give it a shot.