Sunday, 9 October 2016

Demons (4 Stars)

This is my Halloween Challenge film #9. So far it's the first film this month that has really terrified me. It scared me and made me jump while I watched it. Isn't that what horror films are about?

"Demons" is an Italian film made in 1985, written and produced by Dario Argento. Even though none of his films, including this one, were big box office successes, critics consider him to be the most influential creator of horror films in the late 20th Century.

A man in a Phantom of the Opera style mask walks the streets of West Berlin handing out free tickets to a film being shown at the Metropol cinema. No information is given about what the film is called. Would you go? I certainly would! I'd be too curious to stay away. In the foyer exotic masks are on display. A woman tries on a mask and cuts her face. Just a small scratch, nothing to worry about.

The film starts. No title screen, straight into the action. Four teenagers are in a cemetery. They discover the crypt where Nostradamus is buried. They open his coffin and find it empty except for a mask, identical to the one in the cinema foyer. One of the teenagers tries it on and accidentally cuts himself. Then he turns evil and stabs his friends to death.

At this point the woman who scratched her face feels sick and leaves the room. Outside she looks in a mirror and sees her face changing. The cut is getting bigger and a slimy substance is oozing from her mouth. She grows claws and goes back into the theatre, attacking everyone, either slashing them with her claws or biting them. Everyone that she attacks becomes like her, the infection spreading rapidly.

The ones who haven't been infected try to escape, but the cinema doors are locked. They barricade themselves in a room, but the creatures won't stop trying to break in. The film calls the creatures demons, but they have more in common with zombies.

The building used for the cinema is on Berlin's Nollendorfplatz. It was built as a theatre in 1905, but in 1979 it was turned into Berlin's largest discotheque. It retained the name Metropol until 2005, when it was renamed Goya. The building became famous for its use in the film "Demons", and it's still used for horror film conventions today.

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