MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Miles Doleac
Starring: John Schneider, Andrew Divoff, Steven Brand
Runtime: 1 hr 42 min
What It Is: When a celebrated author and his wife get haunted by their dead daughter, the details of her disturbing death soon arise.
What We Think: I didn’t know a lot going into this but I was a bit intrigued by the plot but after watching it, I can fully say that this movie is terrible. I really tried to watch this but I could never get invested in the characters and the events that happened were never interesting so I almost fell asleep a couple times. The acting wasn’t great and was pretty bad all around. There were no standouts and none of the characters were interesting or well written. I’ve seen my fair share of horror films and I do enjoy watching indie horror films, but this felt like a chore for the whole run time. Some viewers may enjoy this film but I really didn’t. I don’t like giving indie films low ratings because a lot of hard work goes into them, but this one just really bored me and I would be lying if I even said this film was mediocre.
Our Grade: F, This film was very flawed and struggled to keep my attention but with such an interesting plot, whilst cliche, still was pretty bad. The characters were lame, the pacing was atrocious and the plot was outright wasted. I would recommend this movie to any indie horror fans but not to a regular viewer.
Here’s an exclusive interview with the star of Demons Lindsay Anne Williams:
Lindsay Anne Williams is an actress and producer, known for the acclaimed short Two Birds (2016) and the features The Hollow (2016) and The Historian (2014). Her new film, Demons, which reunites the talented thesp with the writer-director of her previous films, Miles Doleac, hits theaters and VOD in October.
Williams plays Kayleigh, a woman – married to a former priest and writer Colin (Doleac) – whose sister has come back to haunt her.
How did the film’s premiere go on the weekend?
Oh, man. Our screening was in the haunted hallway of an already haunted, formerly-abandoned high school, in Jerome, Arizona, America’s oldest ghost town. There had been a light sprinkling of rain as the movie started, but nothing serious. Once the show began, thunder started rumbling as the audience looked around to see if it was real or in the movie. Then, about 20 minutes in, the power went out. The audience thought it was a gag for a minute, but then the lights never came back on. The entire town was out. A couple hours later, from our hotel room, you could look down on the valley and the closest place that had power was about a 20-minute drive away. The power stayed off for 4 or 5 hours and it made for quite the interesting night, we were staying in a haunted hotel, the Jerome Grand, formerly an asylum, after all. Our screening was rescheduled to be the closing night film of the festival.
Any spooky occurrences happen on the set of the movie?
Onset, there wasn’t really anything spooky happening because we were all preoccupied trying not to freeze to death. Even heated pools can find you surprisingly cold in December in Mississippi.
What interested you about this particular role?
I think Kayleigh’s relationship with her family is incredibly interesting. You can see her trying to get as far away from them as possible, to the point of working to lose her accent. But then, she’s consistently drawn back to the place and people that served to make her who she is. Her father, Jasper, was always the most interesting relationship and could be incredibly rich. Even though he was an abusive father, he’s still her Daddy, and she struggles with that through every phase of her life. On the page, that dynamic was there, and so compelling, but then Andy Divoff walked on set and all bets were off. He’s such a generous (and slightly intimidating) scene, partner. The chemistry between us was really awesome and we were able to develop a deep connection between these characters and I hope audiences will be able to see that push and pull.
Was it hard to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day, being that this is such an emotional part?
Most of the time, no. For the most part, once I was wrapped, I just wanted to get home to my puppies and go to sleep, or maybe eat. There was one particular scene, though, that really screwed with my head. It’s a teeny part of the movie, but such an important moment for Kayleigh, her sister, and the audience. I definitely climbed under a table and cried for about 20 minutes when we got through that one. And then I promptly apologized to the Makeup Artist for being all puffy and making her do magic. It was interesting…one of the actresses mentioned something about using one’s personal pain and history to help oneself through a difficult emotional scene. But that particular scene bears very little similarity to my own life, it just hit me like a freight train. Even watching it messed me up. It’s strange, the things that affect you more than you think they should.
What do you think audiences will take away from the film?
I hope that audiences will be a little disturbed. Only half kidding. There’s this disconnect between the things that people say and what they do, and therein lies the gulf that fucks us all up, in the end. But if you can’t find a way to address those things, those moments break down, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad and then your sister haunts you.
Do you find it different working on features to short films?
It depends. I think, in the end, the biggest difference isn’t in short vs feature, but in nearly every other aspect of production, from the writing to the AD team, to the crafty. I guess features are more fun, though, because you get to play with a character for longer.
What’s the best thing about working on indies? Less pressure, I imagine?
I think there’s a freedom in independent production that big tent-poles probably don’t have. You can make choices and take risks that studio execs might otherwise have quashed. There are fewer people to answer to.
But then there’s more pressure in a way because often times you’re dealing with the money of individuals, often people you know. When you go out to dinner and see one of your investors at the next table, there’s a responsibility that the anonymity of larger shows lacks. When you can look someone in the eye, it’s much more immediate, and the pressure to make something worth their trust is greater.
Demons is on VOD and in theaters 10/6