In Demons, Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento created a puss-fuelled, post modern possession movie as fun and horror filled as it was brilliantly directed. So the question, is how do you make a sequel to such a self aware and sensational horror movie?
Set many years after the outbreak of the first film, the world has somehow moved on from the horror, relegating the terrible demon drama that unfolded in the Metropol cinema to nothing more than fodder for a late night TV movie.
This late night TV movie just happens to be being broadcast this very night to the inhabitants of a tower block, who watch while going about their lives either home alone, snuggling up on the sofa or in the case of Sally (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni – also seen in Argento’s Opera) while partying with her teenage friends.
On the television set, a group of kids enter the forbidden zone where the demonic rampage took place. Finding a dead demon, one of the group accidentally cuts themselves, dripping blood into the decrepit remains and mystically bringing the beast back to life.
Sally watches on as the kids are torn apart, enjoying the carnage on screen but then the demon seemingly catches her eye, walking towards her until it is pressed up against the inside of the TV screen. Shock turns to terror for Sally as the demon pushes through, entering her world and attacking her and transforming her into a blood thirsty hell beast.
After massacring her friends, Sally’s hell horde grows and it is up to the residence of the apartment block to fight for survival in an attempt to escape their demonic doom.
So far, so similar, but Demons 2 doesn’t stop there. It continues to replicate the first film’s plot-line as the similarities continue in story, structure, scenes and even actors. The brilliant Bobby Rhodes who played Tony the Pimp in Demons even returns as a gym instructor-turned-leader of the rebellion when the plague takes over the tower.
The repetition is fine if you enjoyed the first film (and if you didn’t, what the hell is wrong with you!) however sadly Demons 2 just doesn’t pack the punch of the first film in terms of its gore, horror, action or ideas.
That’s not to say there isn’t some innovation in the horror of Demons 2, with a hellish hound eating its master and a Gremlin-esque demon spawn that attacks a pregnant woman both being fun diversions, if slightly silly, special effects.
Using the TV as a tool for transmitting evil, literally in one scene, is an interesting idea. However it is under-used and doesn’t function as fantastically as the film and cinema combination of Demons.
Entertaining and fun, Demons 2 offers up a good blend of gore and action that will definitely make you worry about whether your TV is safe to watch.
However if you loved the first film, it’s a slight disappointment as a sequel, especially given the set up at the end of the first film for a post apocalyptic road movie follow up.