Halloween Horror (and not in the way you’d think…)

As part of the Arts Show on Bay Radio, we challenged Daniel Abbott to watch some of the worst films available in Poundland. First on the list… Demons Never Die.

demonsIT’S REALLY quite hard to tell if this is the most embarrassing film that Tulisa’s “starred” in (think about it…) because she isn’t even the star of Demons Never Die – she’s unceremoniously offed within three minutes, cruelly robbing me of the opportunity to endlessly lambast her transparent talent. It’s amusingly misleading at best and blatant false advertising at its worst, a la Malcolm McDowell “starring” in Cyborg 3: The Recycler. Yes, that’s an actual film and, yes, I’ve seen it – you shouldn’t. Even in those three minutes she can’t even allow me my moment of schadenfreude, doing perfectly fine with rather limited material.

Such is the case with Demons Never Die – young, invested actors (pooled from areas as diverse as Kidulthood, Hollyoaks and Misfits) doing a decent job with supremely sub-par particulars. The direction is pedestrian and claustrophobic; the script is meekly opaque; the lighting is awful; the killings are depressingly unimaginative and the twist ending is, frankly, laughable.

Revolving around the world’s most implausibly-high-spirited suicide pact, the film plods mechanically from dull exchange to dull exchange with the occasional murder dotted here and there, presumably to stop the audience from slipping into an ennui emo coma. Its attempts to be a convincing GRITTY BRIT FLICK slasher film, while commendable in principle, are ultimately undone by a (perhaps fittingly) juvenile approach. This is proper Sixth Form stuff, but perhaps that’s offensive to Sixth Formers. This isn’t so much Psycho as it is Halloween: Resurrection.

One gets the impression that writer/director Arjun Rose only recently graduated from film school and chose to incorporate all of his knowledge into his first celluloid effort: there’s an 8-way Skype conversation (is that possible?) filtered via Andy Warhol (Pop Art-tastic!); there’s random split-screens spliced in every now and then to no obvious effect; there’s the near-obligatory found-footage, Paranormal Activity style moment near the end and, on top of that, the colours are so washed-out and diluted that it’s impossible to find a beating pulse within the film. It’s so by-the-numbers and dull that, when the absurd twist ending finally drags its unwanted heels into frame, the only possible reaction is one of split-ribs laughter and incredulity.

I’d hesitate to say it’s even worth the £1 that Joe spent on it for my enjoyment. Actually, sod it – it isn’t worth a quid. Not even close. My housemate bought Red Heat with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Communist cop for a quid. I consider that a worthier investment. I hate you all.