Synopsis: A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
Release Date: 2016-9-9 (USA) | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 4
It’s about the wedding of a couple who seem to – up until this point – have had a mostly long distance relationship. The man, Piotr, learned Polish to be able to speak to her family, moved from London to be with her, and showed up the day before the wedding. Piotr met her through his best friend, who was her brother, but that seemed to be the only other person he really knew. He had only ever even spoken to her father via a few Skype calls. Anyways, he shows up, things swiftly go south, but before he can really even ask for help, it’s time for the wedding. Things just go downhill from there.
Itay Tiran, who played the bridegroom, did a fabulous job. His transition from happy-go-lucky to possessed was better than any acting I’ve seen in American horror lately. He had me on the edge of my seat at times, and sitting back to admire the job he did at others. Covered in sweat and crushing a glass in his hand, or curled against a wall bleeding vulnerability, he sold it all. I can’t say I’ll deliberately go out of my way to look up films from this area again (’cause I’m lazy), but if I see his name in anything, I will check it out.
The supporting actors all did a fantastic job as well, with Wlodzimierz Press giving my second favorite performance. He doesn’t have a huge role, but it is a pivotal one. Every time the camera came to rest on his face you knew what he was thinking and feeling. It was in his eyes, the tilt of his lips, and his body language. I wanted to hug him.
Acting, location, direction were almost spot on across the board in Demon. Not perfect, but great nonetheless. It was definitely a film that demanded your full attention. I just wish I knew what in the world had actually happened! Seriously. If you like Inception type endings, you need to see this film. It’s been a ridiculously long time since we were able to walk out of a movie completely baffled (in a good way) about how something wrapped up. There were a lot half-started sentences, hand-gestures, and whuffed breaths involved in the hashing out of that ending on the ride home. All that, and no resolution either.
I will say that Demon is not your typical possession film. If you’re expecting pea soup and head rotation, you’ll need to look elsewhere. There are no dramatic scenes involving levitation, dramatic invocations of god’s name, etc. It’s an atypical take on the subject that is completely refreshing.
I have a theory, of course, but I can’t say because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! If you have seen Demon and want to discuss it without spoiling it for anyone, hit me up on Twitter @scifiandscary. I’ll happily chat about it with you there! Now, if only I could figure out if I actually liked the movie or not…