Night of the Demons (UK Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Gareth Jones
Starring Edward Furlong, Shannon Elizabeth, Monica Keena, Diora Baird, Bobbi Sue Luther, John F. Beach
Directed by Adam Gierasch
Distributed by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
For my complete initial reaction to Adam Gierasch’s Night of the Demons from 2009’s Film4 Frightfest, have a look here. Now that it is finally finding freedom in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray, the question is: Does it hold up on repeated viewing?
The answer: Yes, albeit with a caveat.
As with many a flick, multiple viewings tend to expose more failings than fresh eyes appreciate. With Night of the Demons, the realisation isn’t so much of additional failings as clarification that this is very much an audience movie. Initially it had been recommended that this flick only be engaged with your brain in the “off” position, and that very much stands true. Night of the Demons is nothing more than a wild and splattery piece of light entertainment. It’s a rockin’ popcorn horror with no intentions of being anything grander – so let this be a warning to those of you with the original glowing on the pedestal of hindsight.
It’s a party movie, for sure. Slap it on this Halloween with the booze a-flowin’ and your choice of junk food filling the table. Everyone is guaranteed to have a blast.
On to the presentation of the film itself: Visually, the Blu-ray is obviously much better than the DVD; however, it tends to lack that “pop” achieved by better quality transfers. The image can be a little soft and grainy at times and lacking in noticeable fine detail, but black levels are rock solid with strong picture stability. Some colours are sporadically impressive, and when the detail levels reach their peak (especially noticeable via the excellent sets), you’ll be reminded of the improvement that the high definition format provides. It’s not a poor transfer by any means, but it won’t pop your eyes from your head.
Audio-wise it’s a different story. The soundtrack here literally booms out of your home cinema system. This film is LOUD! Plenty of punk and hard rock envelops the room with the snarls of the demons and screams of victims piercing the air with enough force to wake up the whole neighbourhood. It’s great.
On the special features front we get the theatrical trailer, an excellent little behind-the-scenes segment that, at only 20 minutes, is nowhere near long enough, and finally a feature commentary with director Gierasch, his co-writer/partner Jace Anderson, and actors Keena, Luther, and Beach. One of the best commentaries I’ve had the pleasure of listening to recently, there’s barely a dull moment here. In fact, most of the pauses are so that they can turn up the volume to showcase a line or sound effect that they really dig. The group dynamic is excellent – a bunch of friends together, shooting the shit about the movie they’ve made. There’s a ton of technical and script info alongside anecdotes from the shoot and more, including a much appreciated and respectful shout out to the late Peter Steele (of Type O Negative fame) by Gierasch. The commentary is as much fun as the film itself and demands a listen.
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5