-------------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------------------
THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON
Directed by George L. Ortiz
Distributed by Celebrity Video Distribution
I love indie films because you never know what you’re going to get with them. Some are fantastic, true testaments to the long hours and labor put into them; others are piles of crap, just cheaply made, thrown together time-wasters that make you wish you could un-watch them; and still others are in-between...they have good qualities and bad. I’m going to have to lump THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON in that third category.
If you are not familiar with THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the DVD cover:
It’s Halloween - the biggest party night of the year - and a group of college friends won’t let the university’s new ban on parties spoil their plans. Fortunately, Charlie has just inherited his recently deceased uncle’s abandoned house on the outskirts of town. What is supposed to be a night of good, clean Halloween fun becomes an outrageous nightmare of demonic possession, as each of the hapless teens discovers what’s inside THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON!
Ok...first the good.
The film is shot well and, even though it is low budget, is lit pretty well overall. There are a couple of darker scenes, but none that are really too difficult to make out. The locations are great and the house is perfect for a ‘demon-infested’ dwelling.
Also of note are the special effects. While the CG in THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON is lower quality, it actually still looks good, especially those scenes towards the end when Charlie is fighting the demon. The demon effects are pretty good, with the minor demons looking very much like Sam Raimi-type demons. And the gore...wow; the production team spared no expense making the red stuff flow! There are several good gore scenes, and one phenomenal part in particular where a group of girls rip a guy’s bowels out and eat them. It is horrifically awesome!
But now for the bad.
As expected for a low budget picture, the acting in THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON is not that great. In fact, some of it downright stinks. The dialogue comes across as pretty hokey and the story itself lacks a spark. And speaking of the story, there’s not much explained...there are key aspects that should be mentioned but never are. I found myself frowning at several points because I didn’t know what was going on and was never told.
I am going to have to give THE HOUSE OF THE DEMON a neutral recommendation. It’s a great testament to indie filmmaking for sure, but it is also lacking a bit too much for me. Still, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to what the filmmakers do next. I think they have a lot of potential.
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