February 6, 2018 House of Demons (Movie Review)
Delving into the mysterious world of the supernatural, House of Demons marks the debut feature film from Writer/Director Patrick Meaney. A psychological twister, House of Demons arrives on DVD and VOD Tuesday, February 6, 2018 thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. So what does Meaney offer to the genre?
Well, House of Demons is not your typical fright night movie fare. This is despite the fact that the title might immediately conjure up a horrific landscape chock full of demonic beings from other dimensions lurking within the obsidian hued shadows. You can just visualize the demons excitedly awaiting that precise moment when the stars are in perfect alignment and innocuous events open the portal to the Pandora’s box of hell and they are unleashed in droves into the human realm of existence.
A very possible scenario, instead, House of Demons offers more of a psychological entrée to be eaten slowly in order to savor the unique mixture of special seasonings and rich texture. In a nutshell, it is a transformational rite of passage of individuals wrestling with the unleashed inner demons of their psyche leaving only one standing as the victor. That in mind, hope remains that the individual is the victor.
The first scene in House of Demons is a compelling visual of a female in the throes of death, leaving you with an elevated heart rate and a dry mouth as your brain registers that this is merely a taste of things to come. Then, time is fast forwarded to warp speed as the audience is privy to a bar scene gathering for the celebration of an impending nuptials of a childhood friend named Jeff (Jeff Berg: Blue Bloods series, The Sex Trip 2017) and his bride to be, Abby (Jen Araki: Good God series, Red Butterfly 2014).
A reunion of sorts for the four friends Gwen (Kaytlin Borgen: Text 2008, Hawaii Five-O series), Spencer (Morgan Peter Brown: Absentia 2011, Ouija 2014), Matthew (Jeff Torres: Pitch series, Vast series), and Katrina (Whitney Moore: Birdemic: Shock and Terror 2010, The Death and Return of Superman 2011), whose lives were blown asunder by the climatic events of one fateful night long ago that ended horribly, leaving their friend Dave (Taliesin Jaffe: Critical Role series, Sagas of Sundry series) a veritable mental vegetable.
Since then, the four have been walking shells with minds held captive in a state of suspended animation and they drifted apart. Their minds are not only scarred and damaged but are topped off with a dollop of guilt. Gwen is the writer besieged with writer’s block, Spencer is the guilt ridden doctor, Matthew is the ambitionless drifter whose income source is questionable, and Katrina is the new age spiritualist who is determined to find her life’s purpose.
Next, the camera eye peers inside the domicile of a cult family led by Frazer (Dove Meir: NCIS series, DIG series) where one of the cult members is giving birth. With the backdrop of a record playing, Frazer offers words of encouragement to help her through the ordeal by telling her that she is a god, that gods create life, and that gods do not feel pain. Admittedly, it is a tad bizarre that he would equate a human as a god, but this is a clear sign that he is not rooted in reality and his thinking is flawed. The contrast between death and life here is both quite poignant and symbolic.
Amber Benson (The Crush 1993, Buffy the Vampire series) plays the role of Maya, Frazer’s designated angel or side kick. She is besotted by him as he has that certain charisma that draws people to him like a magnet. This is despite the fact that she is aware that he is a human monster who will sacrifice anyone just so that he can save his brother by going back into time. He experiments with time travel and asks his followers perform a suicidal ritual to achieve this aim. Maya, like the others are under his spell.
Meanwhile, after the bar celebration, the four friends make their way in relative silence towards a rented house where they are to stay the night in a secluded area in the woods. What they do not take into account is that their whole world is going to turn upside down and their perception of what is possible is going to shift dramatically. They will come to realize in no uncertain terms that the human consciousness is limitless and quite capable of changing reality. Surprised that time travel is possible, they experience a collision of timepoints and are unwilling participants to Frazer’s craziness. However, each one must manifest and deal with their darkest fears and memories or they will become consumed by it.
As far as the cast of House of Demons, they are not only mesmerizing in their delivery, but extremely relatable. We see these individuals driven to the brink of insanity and see how well or how poorly they grapple with their inner demons. Additionally, the musical scores by Field Observations works amazingly in setting the mood of each scene. The special effects are minimal but at the same time eye-catching and impactful. While there are some loose ends, House of Demons is a very imaginative piece of work worthy of a movie night. That is why CrypticRock gives it a 4 out of 5 stars.