Demonic (2015)

The always reliably entertaining Frank Grillo (imagine the Punisher we could have had!) finds himself stumbling onto an accident scene involving Dawson’s Creek, The Usual Suspects, and any generic ghost hunter show with The Haunting. Unfortunately there aren’t many survivors and the cops are trying to put the pieces of the event and meddling kids back together.

A ghost hunting group of twenty-somethings travel to a haunted house in the depths of Louisiana. The gaggle of cliches includes the stoic tech guy, a witch/medium/occult “specialist”, the ex-boyfriend, the current neurotic wreck, son of a survivor boyfriend, enthusiastic group leader, and the girlfriend. One happy seance later, they used good energy, and all hell breaks loose.

Ultimately Demonic plays as a ghost hunting and police procedural hampered by poor acting and vapid exposition. The scares are decent and the kills and setting are interesting enough to make the movie a worthwhile watch. The production values are good and Grillo is always fun to watch.

The question this movie raises with me is why is the occult always a nebulous thing. In a lot of these type of movies? The really exceptional movies pick one aspect and stick with it. The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, The Amityville Horror, The Dead Zone, The Serpent and the Rainbow, stuff like that. A wise man once told me to never cross the streams. It’s fairly good advice overall. I’m not saying being adventurous always disappoints but it rarely is something remarkable and often is completely forgettable. I’ve seen this twice now. I remember enjoying it as it played the first time but like before, I won’t remember it tonight.

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