NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER on Shudder offers a great nostalgic reunion and a horror sequel with a few challenges. But yes, of course, you have to watch it. Read our full Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever movie review here!

NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER is finally coming to Shudder along with the original film from 1994. This is a direct sequel to the Danish horror classic Nightwatch which centered on a young night watchman (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who crossed paths with a serial killer.

Now, 30 years later, his daughter takes the same job as a night watchman (or woman) at the same workplace, and suddenly a serial killer copycat shows up.

Do yourself a favor and check out the original movie from 1994 first. Not only because it’s much better, but because it will help you understand details in the plot of this new movie as well.

You can read more in our Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever review below. You can watch it – and the first movie – on Shudder from May 17, 2024.

The Nightwatch is a woman in the sequel

In the Nightwatch sequel from 2023, we meet the young medical student Emma (Fanny Leander Bornedal). She is the daughter of Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Kalinka (Sofie Gråbøl) from the first film. However, we’re about to learn that she has no idea about her parents’ violent experience 30 years earlier.

Her mother committed suicide years ago, and her father has never recovered and takes an awful lot of pills. When Emma stumbles across old newspaper clippings, she discovers how her parents were almost killed in the basement of the Institute of Forensic Medicine nearly 30 years ago.

She decides to take a job as a night watchman to better understand her father’s past. We get a wonderful scene where the previous night watch introduces Emma to the job. It’s a wonderful nod to the scene from the 1994 movie where her father, Martin, started the very same job.

Emma doesn’t really need the job. In fact, she should be focusing on school, but she takes the job to get an idea of what her parents went through. It’s almost an act of desperation as her father refuses to talk about it!

The newspaper clippings Emma discovers also reveal that the psychopathic serial killer was none other than Commissioner Wörmer (Ulf Pilgaard). The man who was supposedly chasing the serial killer. When she discovers that he is still alive in the psychiatric ward at a nearby hospital, she seeks him out.

Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever – Review | Shudder Horror Sequel

New horror tic: The sound of a utility knife!

Everything Emma does is a sincere attempt to get her father back on track. She wants him to face his demons. It actually works surprisingly well and has all the nostalgia you could want. It’s also very tragic to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Martin stumbling around while his daughter is deeply unhappy.

However, Emma’s diving into the old serial killer case also has consequences. It quickly turns into a bloody and brutal revenge, where a new series of murders takes place.

In the first film, an old Danish children’s song “Lille Lise let på tå” scared everybody. This time the sound of a utility knife (or box cutter or Stanley knife, depending on which name you prefer), where the blade is pushed out, creates terror!

Just like in the first film, we get to know the best friends of the main character, Emma. Again they are a tight group consisting of two young women and two young men. All wonderful young talents who ensure some of the life and dark comedy of the first film from 1994.

The commissioner in this sequel is played by Paprika Steen, who has nowhere near enough screen time. On the other hand, I have never seen her look so tired and worn out. I guess that’s the way her character is written, although it’s never explained. She looks like a bum, which is in stark contrast to any female cop I’ve ever seen on TV. Or in real life, for that matter.

Remember, the commissioner in 1994 was the one who had to speak on TV. We don’t have to worry about that here in the sequel where media coverage isn’t part of the story. A truly odd choice as it’s in stark contrast to the evolution of extreme media coverage of any and every criminal matter. Especially murder!

Then again, in the world of Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever, you can lie murdered on the pavement in the middle of Copenhagen and not be discovered until the next morning. I can assure you, many people will pass this area during any night of the week.

Yes, we are approaching the (relatively many) challenges of Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever.

Some rewriting of facts

I have been generally quite positive about Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever, but there are indeed some challenges along the way. You have to turn a blind eye or live with changes to facts from the first film. Also, the dialogue is nowhere near as smooth or organic as in the previous movie.

A simple fact like how Martin is now presented as having been 22 years old in the first Nightwatch, even though it was part of that movie that he was 24 years old. That’s a weird fact to change and it has no bearing on the story, so why not just stick to the original facts?!

Also, I really did not like that the priest Lotte is now played by someone other than Lotte Andersen. It’s a mess. If you have the old cast together except for one person, then maybe just opt out of having to include this character. No offense to Vibeke Hastrup, who now plays Lotte, but it just didn’t work for me.

Watch Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever on Shudder!

It is once again Ole Bornedal who has both written and directed the Nightwatch sequel.

More often than not, I like to focus on the positive, but I have to be more critical of this movie to stay true to myself. This movie is not bad. Not at all! I mean, the script has challenges, but it’s still a solid film. I’m just disappointed that Ole Bornedal made a sequel with as much good and it did bad.

In too many areas, I expected Ole Bornedal to have done better. I guessed who the killer was from the first scene we saw the person. Despite very strong clues pointing in a different direction (clumsily so, I might add), it didn’t change my conviction. That was quite disappointing as I kept thinking it couldn’t be that simple.

Red herring galore isn’t really a good style for Ole Bornedal anyway.

One of the less fortunate things about Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever is not the casting of the main character. Fanny Leander Bornedal is the daughter of Ole Bornedal but is also an accomplished actor in her own right. She’s wonderful in the lead role as Emma (Martin and Kalinka’s daughter), so she deserves praise!

Of course, I recommend that you watch Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever. Please, just make sure you watch the original film as a warm-up. Both are released on Shudder on the same day, so it’s easy to do a little back-to-back viewing of the two movies.

We end up with three splatters despite all the details that annoy me or don’t work. It started strong and offers effective creepiness. In the beginning, we were momentarily at the 4 splatter rating.

I will always expect something different from Ole Bornedal than a new and unknown director. In short, I expect better! However, this should take nothing away from the overall experience or the fact that I sincerely think every fan of Nightwatch from 1994 should of course watch Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever.

NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER is streaming on Shudder from May 17, 2024.


Director: Ole Bornedal
Writer: Ole Bornedal
Cast: Fanny Leander Bornedal, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Paprika Steen, Kim Bodnia, Ulf Pilgaard, Sonja Richter, Casper Kjær Jensen, Alex Høgh Andersen, Nina Rask, Sonny Lindberg, Vibeke Hastrup, Niels Anders Thorn


In the sequel to the Danish horror classic, Martin’s daughter, Emma takes up a night watch job to find out what happened to her parents almost 30 years ago. A meeting with Wörmer in his cell pulls the serial killer out of his coma and sets in motion a chain of fateful events.

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 "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)