Carly (Carly Pope) is a woman who is regularly haunted by a tragic past involving her mother’s disappearance. Soon, she receives a message from an old acquaintance named Martin, who, at first, she ignores. But after much debate, she agrees to meet with him. While meeting at a local cafe, Martin reveals to Carly that he currently works for a medical tech company and has been offered a large sum of money to conduct a group session with hospital patients. Martin didn’t think much of it until he noticed that one of the group was Carly’s mother, who is currently in a coma.
It’s not long until Carly receives a personal invitation to visit the mysterious medical facility known as Therapol for a conversation. Thanks to modern technology, Carly is invited to use a neural stimulation unit to communicate with her mother, who is in a coma. This task won’t be as simple as everyone hoped, and Carly begins to question reality as a ‘presence’ begins to torment her.
Demonic is best described as a horror film with some sci-fi moments. The first act is fun, even though it has vague plot details. It sets up some interesting mysteries, such as the truth behind Carly’s mother and what will come from Carly’s interaction with her using the latest technology. The evil presence is also an interesting element that had my curiosity.
Visually, I felt director and writer Neill Blomkamp delivered an impressive looking film, especially when scenes are done during daylight. The same can be said about the audio track, which has several moments of fun creativity to assist in attempting to build a world of suspense full of unsettling moments.
While the first act delivers a somewhat pleasing setup, I am saddened to say I found this film took a negative deep dive into the second and third acts. Instead of being interesting and exciting, I found this film became a drag, with moments and scenes that generally felt flat or highly questionable. The biggest issue is not performance or the film’s look- it’s purely the plot and script. Many moments within the film are forgettable, and key mysteries are generally predictable. Leading characters lack back story or give a reason for viewers to generally care. The ending also feels questionable and somewhat vague.
Overall, what starts as something mysterious and promising, sadly turns into something flat, and the film takes a nosedive in the second and third acts. Performances are fine, and aspects relating to the audio and fun visuals are also great. The film’s biggest letdown is its plot and development of the key character, both of which become dull and forgettable. Moments of mystery are generally predictable. Sure, there’s some fun and creative ideas relating to sci-fi and horror; I just personally hoped for something stronger rather than this vague and uninteresting movie.