Director Sixto Melendez, with his first feature film presents an interesting and masked supernatural horror film of a demon, with possessions, addiction, and relationships in a very dark storyline achieving distribution from Brain Damage Films. As he serves as writer too, giving an interesting tale which primarily focuses on the character Eddie who is having a hard time coping with his divorce with morbid aspects surrounding tight as noose around his neck choking the life outs of his meager life.
The story opens with centering on the previously mentioned character Eddie (Andrew Ternorio) as a young boy, with his parents arguing, indiscernible mutterings, unimportant to the main storyline and his sister trapped in the middle, suddenly gunshots ring out and the story springs forward leaving the circumstances to interject later. In his adult life Eddie, now and for the remainder of the flick from the incomparable Wes Martinez, struggles to survive a divorce and suicide attempt thanks to his friend Mark (Chris Cox). Glossing over other attributes Eddie inherits the home of his aunt, who raised him as a child and enters group therapy for possible solutions to resolve his problems. Now that is only aspect of the story the other involves Amy (Monica Engesser, who starred in Krampus: The Reckoning (2015)) and her problems which involve death and drugs to state the least, too much more the plot becomes overexposed far too quickly. One other significant player to this film involves a demon, and whom it uses as the conduit to influence others, giving its “gift” to another, but where does one find easy a tortured soul, a corrupted human, in a prison, but that’s ignore or funnier a politician, but not even a demon wants that carnal lying filth, ah yes a therapy group. This is not a comedy, rather a dark motive in terms of tone and picture, the absence of light signifying both Eddie’s and Amy’s lives, except when others on the outside enter into the scene then it changes slightly. The group allows the individuals to rip open their hardened scars and expose the wounds pleading for help and ripe for demonic influence. As Eddie and Amy become fast friends she invites him to his place, an abandoned building with no electricity or utilities, filled of nothingness and minimum to the maximum, appears quite easily, but that’s the least of the issues, Eddie’s scared of the dark, and hence a continuation of the issues from childhood. Meanwhile aside from the raunchy moments with Amy and a spillage of blood coming from a dead dog of his neighbor, a child’s book in his bedroom, and a missing child in the neighbor everything appears fine. Needless, the weirdness and other attributes such as sleep paralysis factor more into the later portion of the movie, and work to involve the demonic forces of possessions into adult relationships. Although, one must not overlook the contributions from Mike Watkiss who portrays Gabriel, a fallen preacher, who knows much about both Amy and her demon, drugs and fiery confrontations masking in the darkness of life. Watkiss presented a strong appearance, with complex character, which strangely enough is not listed on the IMDb credits for the movie. The rest of cast, sadly fills the roles, but lacks the conviction of the characters, not because of their acting skills, but rather the defining of characters, among two that need mentioning as the play into the role of Amy, first her mother Maria Olsen and then Rebekah Kennedy as a young Amy.
Melendez shows that while the skills of directing and writing exists the film could use another rewrite to tighten the storyline, flesh out the scenes and define the characters clearer and lose 10 minutes a tad long-winded in part of the film, the dryness occurs along with pacing issues. However, with all the excessive usage of darkness and creepy imagines, definitely a missed opportunity for jump scares and demonic tomfoolery to keep the audience’s interests in new version demonic life force.
Overall, a fair film, with horror measure in drips, but it lacks on the gore, the suspense and uses the darkness of the sets from the atmosphere sensation, creating a fitting end. Those seeking some wildly fun some effects, will need to wait for the last act and as the demonic forces powers fizzle during the movie.
This review was originally published in June 2016 on Rogue Cinema’s now defunct website with a view count of 1,712.
- Evil loves company.
IMDb Rating: 3.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10