★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Way back in 2009, Neill Blomkamp burst onto the genre scene with his debut feature film District 9 a sci fi masterpiece that was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. With each release of his subsequent features, Elysium and Chappie, Blomkamp has failed to capture that magic but none of them can prepare you for his latest offering, Demonic.
Demonic is the story of Carly (Carly Pope) who has not been in contact with her mother in years because her mother Angela (Nathalie Boltt) was convicted of setting fire to a nursing home and killing over 20 people years ago. When Carly’s old friend Martin (Chris William Martin) reaches out to her after years of not speaking the two meet up and he tells her that he has been contacted by research group called Therapol and they are looking for Carly because they are treating her mother.
When she gets to Therapol she meets scientists Michael (Michael J Rogers) and Daniel (Terry Chen) who tell her that they use prisoners to do experiments and that her mother has had many violent episodes that have led to “locked in syndrome” so they need to send Carly into her mother’s consciousness à la The Cell.
When she gets into Angela’s consciousness her mother tells her to get out! and that she wasn’t the one who summoned Carly. Then, strange symblols begin to appear and her old buddy Martin says he’s dreamed them too…
It turns out that the guys at Therapol aren’t just scientists, they’re priests who are exorcists contracted by the Vatican to exterminate the demon that possessed Carly’s mother and is now trying to possess her! Black ops exorcism ensues- I’m not kidding.
I was really rooting for this film! From the moment the trailer came out (read my trailer alert here) I was really hoping this would catapult Blomkamp back up to District 9 level but, alas, terrible acting and dry dialogue just add onto the bizarre film that is tied with Malignant for my most WTF of 2021?
It gets 1 star for being an actual movie and the extra half star for making me yell “they’re exorcists?!” and then laugh out loud for a good two minutes. I have a feeling this film will be making an appearance in the next Thingy Awards in the “Depends” category for what movie crapped its pants and disappointed the most in 2021 because this is a shit show.
Demonic is available to stream on Amazon and other streaming platforms.