Film Review: Demons (1985)

Also known as: Dèmoni (Italy)
Release Date: October 4th, 1985 (Italy)
Directed by: Lamberto Bava
Written by: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini, Dardano Sacchetti
Music by: Claudio Simonetti
Cast: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Michele Soavi

DACFILM Rome, 88 Minutes


Demons is an Italian horror film that was co-written and produced by Dario Argento. It was directed by Lamberto Bava, who is the son of legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava.

Released in 1985, it came out during a slew of great horror flicks. The genre was at an all-time high and the Italians were just as capable of showcasing dread and horror, as their American counterparts.

This film is creepy as hell and it still brings me back to that place I was when I saw it for the first time when I was certainly much too young to handle it.

It is intense, borderline gross – at times, visually mesmerizing and well executed. It is a little known masterpiece that probably deserves more than just cult recognition.

It carries a similar vibe to the films Argento directed around that time but Bava’s influence led to more insanity, more action and many more monsters.

The majority of the film takes place in a movie theater, which I am sure was effective for those seeing this film in the theater when it first came out. It would probably make me uneasy watching it in a theater now, to be honest.

The special effects are practical and top notch for a budget restricted foreign 80s film. With that, there is something more organic, natural and terrifying when seeing these zombie-like demons roaming through the dark theater with their glowing eyes than if some modern filmmaker tried to recreate those scenes with CGI.

Even at their cheesiest, practical effects still bring a level of realism that CGI can’t tackle and this film is a perfect example of that.

Also, the music is superb.

Demons is an interesting and unique horror film. It is also one of the best zombie-style movies ever made, even though they are demons as opposed to traditional zombies. Truthfully, the demon twist adds a very real sense of terror that you don’t get from regular zombies.

I feel like the visual style and the demons themselves went on to influence a slew of pictures after this. Not to mention the seven loose sequels this movie spawned.

If you are looking for something different to indulge in, this may be your flick.

Rating: 8/10

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