‘Hell is empty… the Devil is here’
Demons is a 2017 American supernatural horror film written, directed by and starring Miles Doleac (Hallowed Ground; actor in Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies; Mississippi River Sharks; Don’t Kill It). The Historia Films production also stars Andrew Divoff, John Schneider and Lindsay Anne Williams.
Eight years ago, Father Colin Hampstead oversaw an aborted exorcism that resulted in the gruesome death of seventeen-year-old Jewel Grant, in rural Louisiana.
The deceased girl’s older sister, Kayleigh, grew immediately attached to Hampstead and sought him out, at first for grief counselling and then, for much more.
Now, Hampstead has left the priesthood and become a celebrated fiction writer, specialising in stories about the occult, and he and Kayleigh, now his wife, have a beautiful daughter and run a well-known bed and breakfast in Savannah, Georgia.
When the couple agrees to host a wedding for one of Colin’s college friends, what begins as a Big Chill-type reunion turns into something much more macabre, as the seemingly omnipresent ghost of her dead sister Jewel compels Kayleigh to engage in bizarre, destructive behaviour that endangers the lives of both her friends and herself…
“Yes, Demons is about an exorcism but it’s also about a family torn apart by abuse and a spirit which isn’t at peace. Director Miles Doleac gets really smart and realistic performances from his cast which includes himself in the role of Colin. Like I said above, the movie is well constructed…” Flea Pit Cinema and Video Shop
“As a dialogue-driven movie, there are some lengthy conversations, and while some of it surely could have been trimmed, credit goes to Doleac for giving Colin some pretty impressive depth, having the priest question the possession in logical and believable ways, but then carry a bit of guilt afterwards for profiting on its results. This is a smart twist on the genre.” David Duprey, That Moment In
“Overall, Demons is an excellent film that brings something fresh to the exorcismgenre. I can see it not being for everyone, as much of it is dialogue with only a few scares mixed in between. It’s that weird mix of slow burn, then a lot happening, and then back to slow burn again.” Charlotte Hollingsworth, Morbidly Beautiful
“The scares are mild in Demons which plays more as an investigative thriller than it does pure horror. It’s story based but the lack of realism makes it hard to keep the viewer enthralled with a story that’s actually pretty interesting. Writer, director and star Miles Doleac provides a lot of build in the story without the satisfying horror payoff.” Jason Minton, Without Your Head
“Not only is Demons classy, but it’s smart! The script lends itself to a lot of fascinating ideas and themes including the sin of carnality (passions and appetites), other cultures of beliefs like Native American lure, Christian angels and demons, Scientific alternate realms, psychology and of course exorcism. Really, the title Demons is quite fitting because it’s a metaphor in itself.” Horror Society
“The twin narratives are well integrated and flow well together but lean a bit too much on real-world drama and not enough on scares for a genre film. It’s not bad, (even though I’m not a huge fan of dramas), it’s very watchable even.” Jim Morazzini, Beneath the Underground
“Demons has a strong premise with a talented cast. I enjoyed the dramatic aspect of the film. I especially liked the fact that all of Colin and Kayleigh’s friends are ready to help the couple fight their demons. It’s good to see a horror movie where everyone is pleasant and reasonably intelligent.” Nic Holdman, Nerdly
“One hour and 45 minutes is entirely too long for an introspective psychological study to remain at a leisurely tempo. Even after a third act twist finally fills in remaining blanks regarding Kayleigh’s sister’s exorcism, Demons still spends another quarter-hour wrapping up threads the story doesn’t truly have.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt
“It wasn’t just an old-school Hollywood exorcism film. It was something entirely different and realistic. I feel like the cast gave great performances. In the end, it seems like that it might not have been an actual demon possession, but personal demons that the girls suffered with. And personal demons are the scariest of them all.” Pop Horror
“What it lacks in true scares it recoups in mood and atmosphere, playing up the strong Christian themes and letting the booming timbre of the mighty Divoff do its thing. Fans of the Exorcist TV show should enjoy this one, which takes a similarly subtle approach to demonic possession and priestly guilt.” Joel Harley, Starburst
“I can see why Demons was sold as a straight horror film. It sells tickets and pumps up the buy rate on VOD. But it does the film a disservice as people expecting that may well get a negative opinion of the film. This is more of a Dark Shadows type horror/drama mix, but I can imagine that must be a lot harder to sell. Which is a shame because Demons is good on its own terms.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony
- Miles Doleac – Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies; The Hollow; Shark Lake
- Andrew Divoff – The Hatred; Wishmaster franchise
- John Schneider – Snow Beast; Super Shark; Ogre
- Lindsay Anne Williams
- Steven Brand – Mayhem; Hellraiser: Revelations
- Kristina Emerson
- Gary Grubbs
Demons was released in selected US movie theaters and on VOD on October 6, 2017, by Uncork’d Entertainment.