Sunday, November 18, 2012

Night Of The Demons (2009)

The Story

It’s 1925, and one night in New Orleans, Evangeline Broussard decides to hold a séance at her mansion. Evangeline is obsessed with Louis Devereaux, but Louis doesn’t love her. Evangeline will do anything to seduce Louis. Her love spells aren’t working, so Evangeline seeks the help of some seemingly kind spirits. But the spirits are actually evil demons, who are trying to possess living humans. The demons need the help of a spell to return to the living world. Evangeline is desperate and vulnerable, so the demons see an easy target. Promising to secure a relationship with Louis, the demons trick Evangeline into inviting Louis and five other friends to the mansion.

Evangeline follows their instructions, and once the séance begins, the demons attack the guests. In order to complete their return to the living world, the demons need to possess seven humans before sunrise. Terrified and confused, Evangeline tries to escape the possessed party guests. Standing on the upstairs balcony with a rope around her neck, Evangeline prepares to commit suicide. A demonized Louis professes his love for Evangeline, but she doesn’t buy into the lie. Determined to prevent the demon’s return to Earth, Evangeline jumps, and kills herself. Evangeline’s maid is the sole survivor. The maid locked herself in a room, while scribbling spells on the walls for protection.

Eighty-five years later, Angela Feld prepares to throw a Halloween party at The Broussard Family mansion. Angela needs the money and her friend, Diana collects the cash and she gives out hand stamps for admission. Suzanne has known Angela since high school. Maddie and Lily are friends of Suzanne. They join the party, but a few odd encounters with ex-boyfriends could change everything. Lily still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend, Dex. Dex’s friend, Jason doesn’t want to ruin anything, so he leaves Lily and Dex alone, and Jason befriends Maddie. A ruthless drug lord named Nigel gives Maddie’s ex-boyfriend/drug dealer, Colin a life-or-death ultimatum, so he must sell all of his merchandise to the party guests.

Angela’s party is a money-making success, but eventually, the police pull the plug. Failing to show the proper permit, the police shut down Angela’s party. Diana sees an easy opportunity during the confusion, and she decides to steal all the money. Fearing an arrest and Nigel’s wrath, Colin hides his drugs in the basement. After the cops and the majority of the party guests leave, Maddie, Lily, Jason, and Dex return to the mansion to find Suzanne, who appears out of nowhere after passing out from too much alcohol. With Angela’s help, Colin retrieves his drugs from the basement, but at the same time, Angela and Colin accidentally discover a secret room that contains a group of skeletons. Angela tries to remove a gold tooth from one of the skeletons, but the skeleton suddenly bites her finger. Maddie, Lily, Suzanne, Colin, Jason, and Dex try to leave, but the entrance gate mysteriously locks by itself. Unable to find another exit, the group returns to the mansion for drinks.

Meanwhile, Angela is slowly possessed by a demon, and once she realizes her powers, Angela possesses Dex during a game of spin the bottle. Dex takes advantage of Lily’s desires for a second chance, and he possesses her during an awkward moment. Plus, Angela mutilates and possesses an unsuspecting and drunk Suzanne. Maddie, Colin, and Jason will have to fight for survival until sunrise, as demonized versions of Angela, Lily, Suzanne, and Dex reek havoc throughout the mansion.

Character Rundown

Angela Feld (Shannon Elizabeth)-
Angela is a wild party girl with an aggressive attitude. The hardcore punk rock look is a perfect fit for this character, and Elizabeth brings some sex appeal to Angela. Shannon Elizabeth is known for the Nadia character from the American Pie films (the REAL American Pie films, not the shitty straight-to-video releases), and she delivers a solid performance as Angela here.

Maddie (Monica Keena)- Remember Monica Keena? She played Lori in Freddy VS Jason, and Keena brings the same kick-ass attitude to the Maddie character. Maddie is down-to-earth, and she’s a fearless fighter, who refuses to give up. Keena delivers the best performance in this film, and the Maddie character has a few memorable moments.

Colin (Edward Furlong)- Nope, that’s not a typo, and you aren’t seeing things. Edward Furlong, the same man, who starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, and the same guy, who delivered a very solid performance in American History X, has a part in this straight-to-video horror release. Colin is a miserable drug dealer, who can’t catch a break, and his constant setbacks continue to sink him into a deeper hole. He’s a screw-up, but Furlong’s performance is entertaining, and he provides a few laughs.

Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther)- Suzanne? She's just eye candy for the most part. She’s the ditzy and busty woman, who likes to drink, and that's about it

Lily (Diora Baird)-
Lily has a bubbly personality, and she clings to the hopes of starting a new relationship with Dex. Baird’s performance is decent enough, but her character doesn’t have any dialogue as a demon. And if I’m not mistaken, a stunt double portrays the demonized version of Lily, so Baird doesn’t have a significant amount of screen time here.

Jason (John F. Beach)-
He’s the goofiest character in this film. Jason provides the majority of laughs, and Beach is just hilarious.

Dex (Michael Copon)- Dex is just there. He doesn’t have a personality, and once Dex becomes a demon, Copon doesn’t have any spoken dialogue.

Diana (Tiffany Shepis)- Diana has an attitude, and Shepis brings some believable cockiness to this character. Diana only has a few scenes here, but Shepis is pretty solid during her short screen time.

Nigel (Jamie Harris)-
Nigel has a dark sense of humor, and he’s a cold-hearted drug lord, who torments Colin. Harris only has two scenes here (one scene in the beginning, and the post-credits scene), but he provides a few laughs.

Evangeline Broussard (Tatyana Kanavka)- Kanavka’s character is important. Initially, Evangeline is the person, who releases the demons into the living world, but you’ll only see her during the intro and flashbacks.

Louis Devereaux (Michael Arata)- Another important character. But Louis only has a few scenes, and most of them are flashbacks of the same material. Also, Arata is one of the producers for this film.

Who's Behind The Camera?

Adam Gierasch brings a brutal and grotesque style for Night Of The Demons 2009. The gore is graphic, bloody, disgusting, and Gierasch provides a few jump scares. And it doesn’t last long, but Gierasch creates a vibrant party atmosphere to this film.

My Overall Thoughts

Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson wrote the screenplay for this film. Night Of The Demons 2009 features a more thorough backstory, and you’ll get an in-depth explanation for the origins of the demons. The story is loaded with some good humor, and there’s a nice surprise at the end.

Great music gave the 1988 original an extra boost, and the remake features a solid soundtrack. 45 Grave provides the title track for this film. “Night Of The Demons” really complements the hardcore punk rock vibe, it’s catchy, and this song is a perfect fit for the Halloween theme in this film:

As the story progresses, Monica Keena, Edward Furlong, and John F. Beach develop some good chemistry, and they provide some hilarious moments together. Plus, after the first set of possessions, Keena, Furlong, and Beach really carry this film.

Night Of The Demons 2009 was a straight-to-video release. It was supposed to have a limited theatrical run, but Seven Arts International (the distributor) decided to go with a DVD/Blu-Ray release. And Entertainment One re-released the 2009 remake on DVD and Blu-Ray this September. Also, Kevin Tenney returns to lend a helping hand, as a producer.

Night Of The Demons 2009 is a bloody and gruesome horror comedy, that features some genuine gross-out moments. You’ll see a few jump scares here and there, and the cast is solid. Plus, Linnea Quigley has a brief cameo here. Still, Night Of The Demons 2009 is a solid remake. Night Of The Demons 2009 delivers plenty of gore, laughs, and the fight scenes are decent enough.

Oh, and Night Of The Demons 2009 features some of the funniest video commentary you’ll ever hear. Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson, Monica Keena, Bobbi Sue Luther, and John F. Beach provide the commentary. It’s hilarious from beginning to end, and the video commentary is a great bonus attraction for the DVD or Blu-Ray.

Comparing & Contrasting The 1988 Original With The 2009 Remake

Well, I’ll get the most obvious changes out of the way first.

-Angela’s last name changes from Franklin to Feld

-In the original, the family maid is slaughtered with the Hull Family. But in the remake, Evangeline’s maid survives the demon attacks, and her spells protect the modern-day survivors.

-An underground stream prevents the demons from leaving Hull House in the original, but Broussard House isn’t surrounded by an underground stream, forcing the survivors to fight the demons.

-The survivors really don’t have a surefire defense against the demons in the original, but in the remake, rust becomes an effective weapon.

-There’s no abandoned funeral home here. Instead, Broussard Mansion is used as the main setting for this film.

-The story for the remake has more depth. In the original, they provide some information for Hull House’s history, but the details are very vague.

-The demons are more vicious and violent.

-The Halloween party in the 1988 remake starts out as a small and friendly get-together, but Angela’s Halloween party is a big-time event with more people.

-In the 1988 original, Angela is a weirdo and an outcast, but in the 2009 remake, Shannon Elizabeth’s Angela is promiscuous and flirty. She’s a party girl, who wants to have fun, and Angela 2009 has an attitude BEFORE her possession. Also, both Angelas have a completely different look.


1988 Angela

2009 Angela

Judy is sweet and innocent, and she becomes a leader during the final moments of the original. So it’s easy to draw comparisons between Maddie and Judy, because Maddie emerges as the strongest character in the remake, but Maddie is tougher. She’s more rugged, and Maddie turns into a real bad-ass during the final showdown.




Keena brings more emotion and aggression to Maddie, but Podewell carries the original by herself most of the time.

Gierasch and Anderson deny any comparisons between 1988 Suzanne and 2009 Suzanne, but the similarities are so obvious. Bobbie Sue Luther’s bigger tits are the only main difference, and in the end, Luther’s Suzanne is just a modern-day version of Quigley’s Suzanne.

More Pics!

1988 Suzanne

2009 Suzanne

A pic of Quigley's 2009 cameo!

The performances in the remake are solid, but when it comes to acting, I have to give the edge to the 1988 original. Shannon Elizabeth’s Angela is darker and more violent, but Kinkade really nailed the outcast side of Angela, and Kinkade brings more humor to Angela’s demonized form.

Every member of the supporting cast from the original has characteristics of a hip 80’s teen (especially the dialogue), but the supporting cast from the original provides more entertaining performances. The supporting cast for the remake isn’t bad, but Baird and Luther can’t rise above the status of eye candy, and Michael Copon doesn’t help anything. And with the exception of Baird and Elizabeth, the post-possession forms of the main characters don’t receive any spoken dialogue, so everyone falls into the category of a “bloodthirsty killer.” They don’t have a real chance to standout.

Overall, the 1988 original is still the better film. It‘s a fun and campy 80‘s horror comedy, with disgusting gore and great music. The 2009 remake has a more serious tone. The violence is more brutal, and the gore is more graphic and bloody. It’s a respectable remake, and Night Of The Demons 2009 is better than most shitty straight-to-video horror releases.

Final Rating: 6/10

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