August 23, 2017 Demon Hunter (Movie Review)
Dubbed with the tagline “The war for your soul has begun,” Demon Hunter is the debut full-length feature from talented Writer-Director Zoe Kavanagh. Co-written by Kavanagh along with Tony Flynn, the Horror Action flick that has taken home more than 15 awards, including Best Director at the Fright Fest International Film Festival, sliced its way to digital/VOD via Wild Eye Releasing on August 15, 2017.
After the death of Taryn Barker’s (Niamh Hogan: Beau Diable 2015, Don’t Listen 2016) younger sister Annabelle (Aisli Moran: Spiders Trap 2015, Kat and Alfie: Redwater 2017) by a demon after Taryn neglected to walk her home from school, Taryn is riddled with guilt. Hell bent on revenge, Taryn captures the attention of mysterious Falstaff (Michael Parle: Ninety Seconds 2012, Night People 2015), who offers her demonic assistance in exacting revenge if Taryn does his bidding. During the course of the ritual, while receiving a powerful sword, Taryn pulls away, leaving it uncompleted. However, a demon remains inside Taryn, ever ready to take full control.
Taryn opts to fight evil with evil and launches into a life of demon hunting alongside a crew of trusted people: Jess (Saorla Wright: The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann 2012), Cheryl (Lauren Emma Bartlett: Clan of Xymonx: Loneliness 2017, Wounded Ella 2017), Birch (Stephanie Alken: Bulldog Girl 2014, Oath 2015), Carrie (Meaghan Gallagher: Mick and Jay Talk 2016, Lift 2016), Ethan (Kevin O’Malley: Staccato 2016, In the Flesh 2017), Barnes (Nic Furlong: Dead Tiger 2012, Red Rock 2016), Odette (Margarita Grillis: Ruin 2014), and Downey (Stephen Gorman: Mick and Jay Talk 2016, Lift 2016). One of the group’s biggest threats is now Falstaff – an ancient demon.
While the rest of the world is unaware of demons, evil, and possessions – directly after decapitating a demon Taryn hides the head and is taken into police custody by Detective Beckett (Alan Talbot: debut film). Hours of questioning does not change Taryn’s story – the man she murdered was a demon. Initially, Beckett and his partner Kudrow (Sarah Tapes Jenkinson: debut film), are non believers until Beckett’s own daughter is kidnapped by Falstaff. This resurfaces old memories of even years ago, and Beckett realises that he had promised Taryn after the death of her sister Anabelle, a promise he had failed to keep. Despite this, Taryn is willing to help Beckett and stop Falstaff once and for all. However, as the time to battle Falstaff draws closer, Taryn’s own demon overtakes her, putting the innocent at risk from the only one capable of saving them.
An interesting film, shot in Dublin, Ireland, the musical score by Scott Tobin (Horror School Reunion 2012, Lift 2016), the cinematography by Luca Rocchini (At One Fell Swoop 2015, Abasezi: The Nightdancers 2015), along with the special effects have a retro feel which are carried throughout Demon Hunter. Overall, it is an original and well-crafted storyline which is also well-acted, despite a few shaky moments.
In addition, there is an abundant amount of backstory which include flashbacks at frequent intervals which can be distracting from the plot and action at the time. While most of it is important, perhaps integration into the scene rather than flashbacks would keep the viewer moving forwards. Neither the shaky parts nor the flashbacks are distracting enough to create a negative viewing experience. All this said, Demon Hunter is definitely one worth watching, and that is why CrypticRock give it 3 out of 5 stars.