DEMONIC is a new horror movie by Neill Blomkamp. While it has potential, it ultimately feels dated and unengaging. Much of the runtime takes place in a digital world that looks eerily like The Sims.  It did not work for me. Read our full Demonic movie review here!

DEMONIC is a new horror movie being released by IFC. The title reveals that we’re dealing with something demonic. I enjoy a good demonic possession story (such as The Conjuring movies). However, we begin by dealing with mental illness.

Actually, the movie starts out okay (but only just okay). When the whole digital world becomes a big part of the movie, it just felt like I was in The Sims game, but with no power over the characters. It looked dated and could just as easily have been made 20 (yes, twenty!) years ago.

Continue reading our Demonic movie review below.

Possession or mental illness?

Interestingly, most cases of “real demonic possession” have been proven to be mental illnesses. People speaking in tongues or with more voices than their own are (more often than not) proven to be schizophrenic and not possessed. Think of Split but without the visual representation of different characters.

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Our review of Split by M. Night Shyamalan here >

The star of this movie is Carly Pope and I do always like seeing her on-screen. However, she can’t do much with how this story is written. She’s good but it’s difficult to create something amazing.

I still think of the TV series Popular (1999-2001) when I see Carly Pope even though she has had a steady career since then.

Demonic (2021) – Review | Neill Blomkamp Horror Movie

Her mother, who is the one suffering from something that looks a lot like schizophrenia, is portrayed by Nathalie Boltt (Riverdale). She is awesome at being scary. Truly! However, in a stereotypical Hollywood-style move. Nathalie Boltt is actually just 7 years older than Carly Pope.

Also in the cast is Terry Chen (The 9th Life of Louis Drax), Michael J. Rogers (the Siren TV series), and Kandyse McClure (Limetown, V Wars).

Demonic (2021) – Review | Neill Blomkamp Horror Movie

You can watch Demonic in theaters and On-Demand

Neill Blomkamp is the writer and director of Demonic. Ever since I watched his absolutely amazing feature film debut District 9 from 2009, I have been ready for anything he makes. District 9 is probably the very best movie to come out of South Africa in my mind. Even though I have seen other good productions made there.

Also, I enjoyed his following movie Elysium (2013), and found Chappie (2000) to be heartbreaking in ways I never expected. However, nothing ever comes close to District 9. Not really!

With Demonic, his first feature film in more than five years, I was downright disappointed. And I never expected that since I have actually enjoyed all of his movies up until this point.

I think of Neill Blomkamp as an innovative and vibrant director. This new movie was the exact opposite of innovative and vibrant. Most of the mysteries, that would be revealed later, were easy to guess very early on. Also, the digital world that looked like it was made by superimposing the actors into The Sims computer game was just awful.

Personally, I am keeping my fingers crossed that Neill Blomkamp will find that passion that created movie magic with District 9. Otherwise, I suspect his career, as a filmmaker to look out for, is coming to a halt.

DEMONIC will be out in theaters and on-demand from August 20, 2021.

Details

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Carly Pope, Chris William Martin, Michael J. Rogers, Nathalie Boltt, Kandyse McClure, Terry Chen

Plot

A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina