Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



 Directed by Emily Hagins.
Starring Jon Michael Simpson, Paige Evans, Jeff McQuitty.
Horror/Comedy, US, 105 minutes.

Streaming on Shudder from 19th January


Since making her directorial debut at 14 years old with the low budget zombie-fest PATHOGEN. Recently turning thirty, Hagins is still working within the genre. Her latest film, SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON, has been snapped up by Shudder after a festival run over the past year which included last year’s FrightFest. a mixture of romantic comedy and horror it shows a writer and director who clearly has a love for the genre and working within it, but who also wants to bring a degree of heartfelt and emotional honesty to her storytelling.


Beginning with a takedown of the possessed little girl trope, SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON sets its stall out from the start in regard to its mixing up of genres. Demonius, a demon mocked for his less than imaginative name by the girl’s parents who then offer him the option of possessing someone else as long as they get to keep their newly moved in house afterwards. Meanwhile, Will, a telephone customer serviceman for a toothpaste company suffers a break-up from his girlfriend Amy, who has tired of his unsociable working hours and constant habit of baking cakes. Looking for a new place to live he comes across a rather large house going cheap, but the landlords have neglected to mention the demon within looking for a host body to carry out his infernal work.


Humour is subjective and unfortunately for myself, Hagins style feels a little too obvious and weak in most regards. This also goes for the films horror aspects which are neither scary nor disturbing in any way. Despite the early skewering of the possession tropes, it lapses too easily into cliché when it drops the comedy for its more serious elements. Where Hagins does succeed though, and quite admirably, is during the films middle stretch where Will’s crisis is explored in a refreshingly honest and forthright fashion. Horror comedy fans may find their patience tested with this aspect that grounds itself without feeling the need to indulge in tired humour or hackneyed scares that never really work anyway. It seems to suggest however that this is where Hagins real skillset as a writer and director really lies as she explores male vulnerability and immaturity


Sadly, this aspect is couched too deeply within a film that is far too baggy and concerned with its less impressive aspects. The mixture of rom-com and horror with bland cinematography, toothless scares and numerous scenes of cake baking make it feel too much like an unsuccessful experiment that would be found on the Hallmark Channel and not on Shudder.


There is a consistent handling of keeping the tone light and fuzzy throughout and the cast are well in line with this. It feels however that the film needed to undergo a couple more drafts of the script to nail down its plot which instead contributes to a film that is overlong, aimless and completely lacking in any hard edges that would justify its place within the horror comedy genre. However, with her already impressive career accomplishments Hagins can still find room to home in on her undeniable skillsets.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans