Maria Bello, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn, Megan Park
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It’s full of ramped up clichés, a tired script and performances that rely a little too heavily on shouting…
A group of twenty-somethings pile into the Livingstone House after one of their number experiences several visions about the dwelling. Camcorders in hand, they plan a séance to speak to the spirit of the home, Martha Livingstone, who went on a killing spree there in the ‘80s. You don’t have to talk to the spirits to see where this one is going; the story of Demonic is as creaky as the house it’s set in.
Where Demonic does manage to distance itself from the usual found footage go-arounds is through using the group’s camerawork as flashbacks for the main crux of the narrative. For, as we’re quickly told, the group are dead and it’s down to Police detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) and his psychologist partner Dr Elisabeth Klein (Maria Bello) to go full X-files and find out what really happened. Unfortunately, like 2013’s Evidence, Demonic takes a fairly interesting take on the found footage genre and struggles to give anything back that could be considered truly attention grabbing.
Even when one of the group is discovered to be alive and well, albeit a little beaten up, the film doesn’t know what to do with the revelation. Perhaps with James Wan being credited as a producer on Demonic, expectations run a little high. Wan, after all, gave us Saw and The Conjuring, and there’s always the potential going into it that Demonic can steal a little of his glory for itself. Unfortunately, it’s full of ramped up clichés, a tired script and performances that rely a little too heavily on shouting. Yes, you’re being stalked by a demon but does it all have to be so loud? Doing so much that’s been done before, with little room left for anything truly original, Demonic is ultimately a flat experience.