Midday Demons – Ireland | Italy, 2013 – review

 
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Midday Demons – formerly titled House of Shadows and Controra is a 2013 horror feature film about a young Irish woman’s attempt to solve the mystery behind a Catholic priest’s death in Southern Italy.

Written and directed by Rossella De Venuto, the Interlinea Films-Ripple World Pictures production stars Fiona Glascott, Pietro Ragusa, Marcello Prayer, Federico Castelluccio and Ray Lovelock.

Plot:

Megan (Fiona Glascott), a successful Irish artist, lives in Dublin with her husband Leo (Pietro Ragusa), an Italian who emigrated there several years ago. After receiving the news of the death of Leo’s uncle, Monsignor Domenico, a powerful Catholic priest whose death has prompted a campaign for his beatification, the couple travels to Apulia, in Southern Italy, to handle Leo’s unexpected inheritance.

Leo’s intention is to sell the ancient palace he has inherited to his brother Nicola, the town’s priest, and return to Dublin. Arriving in Apulia, Megan is enchanted by the beauty of the area and the ancient family palace. She finds it inspiring. Meanwhile, Leo reconnects with his old friends and rediscovers a world that he had almost forgotten. They decide to stay for the summer.

Left alone at home, during the hottest hours of the day, Megan is disturbed by mysterious presences. While trying to understand what is happening to her she starts to find clues in the palace to an unsolved mystery in Leo’s family.

What Megan discovers leads her to share her concerns with Father Von Galen (Ray Lovelock) from Bolzano’s diocese, a priest sent by the Vatican to investigate the claims for Domenico’s beatification process.

As Megan attempts to reveal the story of Monsignor Domenico’s (Salvatore Lazzaro) past, she finds herself in a desperate struggle against forces that are willing to hide the truth at all costs…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Relying on more classical methods of instilling fear rather than gouts of gore, Rossella de Venuto has crafted a shadowy and startling supernatural thriller where the dead really do get a chance to have their say.” Chris Knipp

“A title such as Midday Demons suggests far more demonic influences upon homelife horrors. Rossella De Venuto invites us into her Italian culture with sights to show, but objectively gorgeous camerawork doesn’t excuse the film’s flattened tone […] Midday Demons leaves me wishing I’d been driven a bit madder by De Venuto’s boiled and sunburnt homecoming, merely pedestrian as far as spooky reunions are concerned.” Flickering Myth

“Writer/director Rossella De Venuto delivers a smart, nuanced film that does not shortchange either half of the “supernatural thriller” descriptor, proving herself extremely adept at summoning both surreal, dreamlike atmospheres and extremely naturalistic slices of life into existence.” Rue Morgue

Release:

1844 Entertainment is releasing Midday Demons on Digital platforms on November 12th 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Fiona Glascott … Megan
  • Pietro Ragusa … Leo
  • Marcello Prayer … Michele
  • Federico Castelluccio … Nicola
  • Salvatore Lazzaro … Monsignor Domenico
  • Bianca Nappi … Pia
  • Ray Lovelock … Von Galen
  • Kelly Campbell … Journalist
  • Antonella Carone … Annarita
  • Federica Caroppa … Anni

Technical details:

85 minutes

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