DEMONS, by Miles Doleac, is the story of celebrated fiction writer and former priest, Colin Hampstead, and his wife Kayleigh, who are tormented by the ghost of her late sister as the details of her grisly death are slowly uncovered.
At first this films seems like another possession story. It begins with Father Hampstead on his knees praying in front of a statue of an angel. A young woman runs up to him to console him, telling him that he isn’t at fault for her sister’s death during the exorcism…and then they kiss. At that point the story flashes forward almost a year or so later where those two people are married and Colin is now a celebrated fiction writer, not a priest. It’s a huge leap in the story and it takes a bit to realize that the story flashes between their relationship in the present and how their relationship led to the exorcism of the young woman’s sister.
Not only did Miles Doleac direct and write DEMONS, he also starred in the film as Colin Hampstead. As someone who works in film, I know that this is not an easy feat; however, I feel that by Miles taking on so much it resulted in a lot of aspects that were lacking in the film. First off, as the audience watches the film we are led to believe that the young sister, Jewel, was possessed. But then maybe she was beaten by her over-zealot righteous religious father. Or perhaps the young girl felt neglected by her emotionally distant and detached mother – who was having an affair with the small town doctor, who seemed oddly interested in Jewel when she was a very young girl. Confused yet? Well if so, then you have the same reaction I got from watching this film.
I love a complex story, and I respect the part that religion plays in horror movies but the truth is, I wanted this movie to be so much more and it just wasn’t. They had many ancillary characters, which didn’t compel the story forward thus only adding to the hefty hour and forty-five minute runtime and by the time you get to the climax of why the sister was haunting our female lead in the first place you find yourself even more confused then before you realized it wasn’t an exorcism – or you know, maybe it was, since she spoke in a demonic voice.
With that said, my two favorite characters were actually Colin’s best-friend Eddie, Steve Brand from Joe Lynch’s Mayhem, and his free-loving, naked clairvoyant fiance Lara, played by Kristina Emerson. They were quirky and fun and a little more drawn out in regards to depth. Even though our two main leads Colin and Kayliegh, played by Lindsay Anne Williams, were good, I would have preferred that their story be more concise and less convoluted.
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