DEMONS NEVER DIE (15): On General Release Friday 28th October
Demons Never Die does its best to separate itself from the countless teen slasher flicks that have come before it, not to mention the many more that will be arriving around Halloween and it looks at death from more than just the perspective of a crazed serial killer taking out teens one by one. Unfortunately, these greater themes are mostly lost in what is ultimately just another slasher movie.
The story revolves around a group of eight teenagers, who all enter a suicide pact together. They’ve each got their own reasons for considering “the easy way out” pertaining to their own inner demons. Moody Archie (Robert Sheehan) watched his father murder his mother, goth Jasmine (Jennie Jacques) stood by as her mother slowly lost her mind, outcast James (Jack Doolan) is constantly picked on at school and so on and so forth.
While you have to commend the film for at least trying to look at death on a deeper level, it’s hard to take this view seriously when there’s a different character getting hacked to bits every fifteen minutes. The rest of the plot follows the slasher formula to a T, without innovation or deviation.
Writer/director Arjun Rose deploys some innovative but misguided techniques as an attempt to keep things interesting. An early scene takes place over a webcam, with each character getting their own Warholesque pop art panel on screen. Presumably, this is to keep us from noticing that we are watching eight characters’ heads at once, speaking one at a time.
Rose also awkwardly forces a night vision scene in towards the end, with the two surviving characters filming through a handheld camera. This serves only to rip-off other horror movies and adds very little to the suspense of this one. The one trendy aspect the movie gets right is the soundtrack, which is the film’s sole highlight.
Admittedly, there is a surprising double twist at the end, but it’s far from clever. Just when you think you have the killer pinned, it turns out to be someone else, who has very little motivation for committing the murders and makes the revelation feel cheap. Once you’ve gotten over this, it turns out the killer is actually someone entirely different, who has even less motivation for killing and makes the ending feel even like an even bigger cop out.
The cast do an adequate job of screaming and looking terrified when someone holding a knife appears; Robert Sheehan disappointingly does nothing to distinguish himself.
Despite the occasional visual flourish and a promising plot, Arjun Rose’s film fails to stand out from the crowd – Demons Never Die is simply another slasher flick and nothing more.