Plot: What’s it about?
Jim Barton has just suffered a great loss, as his true love has just perished, leaving him heartbroken and alone. His love for this woman is so strong however, that he would do anything to have her return, including dealing in the black arts. His grief and desperation leads him to an old witch, who promises she can conjure his girlfriend back into the realm of the living, which is all that Barton can think about. In a ritual in the middle of the night, the witch delivers as promised and Barton’s love returns, but he has no idea the price he will have to pay for this ceremony. You see, the witch used the ritual to unleash The Crier, a sadistic and cruel spirit of a woman that was killed over two centuries ago. This spirit has wails, moans, and cries that would haunt even the dead and if one hears her vocal patterns, they’re certain to be doomed. As Barton and some friends throw a party, The Crier lurks in the shadows and soon begins to prey upon them all, but can Barton somehow stop this horrific demoness?
A good horror movie doesn’t need excellent gore effects, naked women, or a big budget, but it does need entertainment. In the case of Demoness, it has some decent blood content and atmosphere, but it makes a fatal mistake, one that really lessens the experience. We all know horror has lapsed into a blend of scares and laughs these days, but serious horror is still very effective, without question. But Demoness isn’t well written enough to be as serious as it plays, so it causes a lot of unintentional laughs, and not the kind we’re used to. If this was a camp 1970s movie, I’d be entertained, but Demoness was made two decades later and simply takes itself way too seriously, becoming a comedy of errors in the process. It has some moments mind you, but also has some dull stretches, which is bad news in a horror picture. The pace is too slow, time is wasted, and in the end, Demoness just fails to entertain. I’m glad someone tried to make a serious entry into the low budget horror world, but in this case, a less serious approach would have paid off big, as Demoness is worth a rental at best.
Video: How does it look?
Demoness is presented in a full frame transfer. As this looks to have been a very, very low budget picture, I can forgive some of the flaws found here, but make sure you keep that in mind as you watch the movie. The image is soft at times and lacks the sheen more polished films have, but still looks solid enough, all things considered. The colors are a little too warm in some scenes, but look good in most cases, while contrast is also stable, though not quite as refined as we’ve gotten used to on these DVDs. As far as the aspect ratio, this might have been a direct to video release, as the full frame seems appropriate in terms of framing and such. I can’t be sure however, so if you know the answer, fire off an email to let me know.
Audio: How does it sound?
Just as I gave the video some slack due to the project’s limited budget, I’m doing the same in the audio department. You can tell this was a low budget work, but the audio is still solid, though basic and a tad thin in some places. This is due to either poor on set recording to lapses in the postproduction process, but in any event, they’re not too serious. The dialogue is a shade tinny in some scenes and seems softer in some sequences than others, but I didn’t have to adjust the volume too much here. No complaints with music or sound effects, aside from how they often sound flat, but given the material, that’s to be expected.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An audio commentary track with director Glynn Beard and producer John Gonzalez starts us off, which proves to be a solid session. The two friends discuss the ins & outs of making such a low budget feature, but never get too bogged down and also talk about the humorous anecdotes, especially those involving cast & crew member hijinks. You can also check out Y2K: Shut Down Detected, a short horror film made by Gonzalez, as well as a brief behind the scenes featurette that details how it was produced. A trailer for Demoness is also included, as well as a wealth of other Seduction Cinema & Shock-O-Rama releases.