Zak Bagans, the host of the very successful “Ghost Adventures,” featured on The Travel Channel, airing for the past nine years, two spin-offs, a novel and now a film, directed Demon House. While not the most convincing of titles, it dwells on a location in Gary, Indiana, plaguing a family since at least 2014, that took this investigator on an incredible journey taking personal risks, and doing what he’s never done before to solve a case. Even before taking on the case, he had visions, and dreams of a demon goat god standing over him, friends warned him of the impending doom. However, Bagans, bought the house sight unseen, as he learned what some considered it the doorway (portal) to hell. This movie, considered a documentary by many shows what happen surrounding his investigation, exorcism and his personal battle with the unknown forces. The filmmaker states almost everything shown on the screen aside from some reenactments and its not another version of The Blair Witch Project. I’m solely reviewing the film, not the concept of ghosts, spirits or whether what Bagans does is based in reality or even showmanship, rather just what presents itself on the screen as distributed by Freestyle Digital Media.
The location of the house remains very private, but reports of it presented on various news sources such as USA Today, Fox News, and the Huffington Post. His crew follow him as he starts the investigation of what some deemed as Amityville Repeats, and soon discovers the original owners and other witnesses won’t talk to him because of his visiting the tainted home before coming to see them. Already a bad omen settles into the story, many fans of these shows, namely T.A.P.S. Ghost Hunters take the time to check on a property or case from a distance, speaking to people on or off camera, former residents before visiting a location, perhaps something Bagans needs to incorporate into his toolkit.
This review differs from countless others I’ve written over the years, while tackling paranormal ghost hunt films, they are just that films of fantasy and horror, much of the material presented on the screen becomes the point of subjective for each individual to examine. One thing I did find outlandishly unbelievable came from a statement in the movie, referencing that poor neighborhoods are a bastion for demons to dwell in and feed upon the innocent for their sinister powers. I believe that evil can and does exists anywhere it wants, and welcome in, from good to bad and poor to rich, it has no boundaries. Therefore, simply mentioning the highlights of the story surround itself with Ammons House with her children becoming possessed, a superstitious police officer, a social worker and a contactor both suffered various diseases. Bagan’s priest Father Mike Maginot, does exorcisms, were they sanctioned by a church, no information provided, a friend and parapsychologist Barry Taff (author of Aliens Above, Ghosts Below) suffers multiple organ problems while he, Zak, now needs to wears special glasses cause of harm inflicted in the house. Some of the interviews conducted have many candles lit, for atmospheric setting, when easily actually lights served the purpose in a documentary. As with these documentaries, the cameras capture strange sounds, EVPs, and strange shadows, along with rising levels of magnetism in the basement. Sometimes there’s even surveillance footage of himself or others seemingly briefly possessed, and Zak barricades himself in the house to do a battle with the demon, resulting in an odd and questionable solution.
Some consider this movie a form of sensationalized journalism, but actuality the believability actually extends to one’s mindset and their spiritual self. The fans of his series and documentaries on paranormal topics like to find the film both entertaining and informative. I found the reenactments too over the top, and while important to the storyline, some other visuals likely to serve a better usage. Overall, any documents on ghost hunting often boil down to the opinion of the viewers themselves, as some are staged, and others give full faith into the subject. Therefore, the audiences need to check their faith and either witness this as propaganda and a well-stage ghost film or truly looking to the dark abyss of Hell.
By the way, interesting Box Art for the film, as the goat’s head often connected to the devil rather than just a demon.
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
Baron’s Rating: 5/10