Thursday, October 14, 2010

Night Of The Demons (1988) - 3.5/5

There is something about these teen Horror films from the 80s that just makes them ridiculously awesome. Maybe its the gratuitous...everything! Some of these movies came off as still pretty shitty, but a number of them turned out as damn fun romps of bad craziness. That's how "Night Of The Demons" comes out. Yeah, its predictably bad at times, but down there under its over the top attempts at being funny and clever is a heart of gold and some surprisingly solid moments.

When a group of cliche teens decide that they are going to party it up on Halloween night at the infamously 'haunted' Hull House, they make the mistake of listening to the goth girl and trying out a seance in the mirror. This awakens a demon (or evil spirit of sorts) which starts possessing the un-knowning teens and slaughtering them off to odd and sometimes rather humorous results.

Although this film obviously riffs on plenty of films that came before it, plenty of parts are torn directly from the lessons taught by "The Evil Dead" franchise, there is something distinctly charming and fun about it. It balances the atmosphere of the Horror and the cheesy 80s teen comedy pretty well (although some of the jokes are so bad they actually are funny here). The cast is abysmally fun and bad, although the leading lady is down right awful in some of her lines, but with some solid make-up and gore effects to match its over the top approach it works way more then it should have.

Some fans might find its use of relentless gore, by the numbers plot, and overuse of sex and nudity as something to scoff at, for what it is, "Night Of The Demons" works as a fun campy scare fest. It does have some legit cool moments in its folds, like some of its more interesting camera shots, the cool animated intro, and Angela's weird dance of hell, and these moments make the rest of the film not quite as bad as it could have been. Definitely works in its benefit.

"Night Of The Demons" is not for everyone. Its ultra cheesy take on this rather formulaic film works in its own humorous ways for a fun 80s jaunt into the 'haunted house' genre. Not great, but its a lot of fun to watch.

BONUS RANT: There is a rather random subplot about a haggard old man and his hatred for kids on Halloween that seemed to set up the film nicely in the beginning but finished the film feeling tacked on for the sake of tacking it on. Kind of funny in its own way, but rather out of the blue. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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