DEMONIC (2021) Reviews of Neill Blomkamp’s horror

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Demonic is a 2021 Canadian horror film about a decades-old rift between mother and daughter that unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.

Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (Chappie; Elysium; District 9), the AGC Studios-Oats Studios production stars Carly Pope, Nathalie Boltt, Chris William Martin, Michael J Rogers and Andrea Agur.


“A strong start sets up a very different take on demonic possession, with a detailed peek into the mind of the possessed by way of simulation tech. But once that’s out of the way, Blomkamp seems to have run out of ideas, dragging out Carly’s ultimate confrontation with predictable beats devoid of any scares, dread, or suspense.” Bloody Disgusting

“There are some big ideas, here, that could have been further fleshed out: Subplots involving spiritual warfare and some deep, ancient history are hinted at, but they register only as surface-level folklore. And ultimately, the problem is that Blomkamp doesn’t seem to care about scaring us.” Dread Central

“Neill Blomkamp’s name is the only thing preventing Demonic from dissolving into the DTV stream as another negligible nothing of a demonic possession movie. If you or I had brought this script to a studio, we would have been laughed out of the pitch meeting, and that’s only if the suits stayed awake long enough to get to the goofy part that sounds like an altar boy’s 4chan fan fiction.” Culture Crypt

“The virtual world adds a kick to Blomkamp’s script–the real-world portions can’t help but feel flat by comparison, and you spend most the runtime waiting for the next volumetric mind-f*ck. For every second that we spend on earth, we lose a second in a simulation where the possibilities are endless, the demons realistic and the textures dreamlike.” Daily Dead


” …Demonic is so lifeless that it had me wishing for a jump-scare, even a cheap one, just so something could happen. The director is completely uninterested in building any sort of sense of dread or foreboding. Yes, bad stuff happens in Demonic, but there’s an odd disconnect here […] It’s one of the most horror-free horror movies in recent memory.” /Film

” …Demonic dips into clichéd supernatural writing featuring everything from characters quickly researching information on the Internet to drawing out clues in their nightmares to a somewhat lame looking raven-based creature, all with awkward dialogue and poor delivery […] Bluntly, it’s hilariously stupid to the point where a good amount of people will probably shut the movie off.” Flickering Myth

” …Blomkamp fails to conjure chills, scares or any kind of tension. The movie is like a far less successful retread of Come True from earlier this year and merely keeps repeating dreams and its literal mind games ad infinitum to diminishing returns, the film’s villain easy to identify from the get go. Pope can’t summon any sympathy for a woman who misses every signal the audience easily picks up on…” Reeling Reviews


Demonic is missing the kind of set pieces that the director has been able to shoot before […] Because of these omissions we are missing moments that would have elevated the threat and terror level. Either by choice or by circumstance there is not enough going on outside of Carly and Angela’s relationship to make this horror film truly horrifying.” Screen Anarchy


“The demon at the center of the film initially resembles a humanoid raven, and it could’ve been irrationally creepy, but Blomkamp’s preoccupations are such that the beast eventually assumes the form of a muscled man—reduced to another action-movie big bad just in time for a climactic fight.” Slant



Release date:

IFC Midnight released Demonic theatrically on August 20, 2021, followed by an On-Demand and Digital release on August 27, 2021.

Technical details:

102 minutes

Working title:

The Unlocked

Teaser trailer:


Behind-the-scenes 8mm footage:

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