The first glimpse after the music shocks us to life is of a bloodied priest visibly shaken as he silently prays. Night has fallen; the priest is kneeling outside in the quiet darkness obviously trying to come to grips with what has just taken place. We learn that an exorcism was performed but it has gone terribly wrong. As the priest drives away, the ghost of a young girl appears in the street; startling him and possibly making him become even more unhinged.
As the timeframe jumps ahead, we find out that the priest, Colin (played by Miles Doleac who also wrote and directed Demons), has left priesthood and is now a bestselling author. He is also, surprisingly, married to the sister of the girl whose exorcism went awry and they have a child together. But we soon find out that they both have been seeing, and oftentimes terrified by, her sister’s ghost. Things come to a head while they have friends staying at their house; friends who are soon to be wed. The paranormal disturbances are increasing for Kayleigh (Lindsay Anne Williams) which the bride to-be can sense and decides to offer help. Kayleigh is resistant to even discuss what had gone on the night of the exorcism and is defensive when the issue is pushed. So, Colin and Kayleigh decide to try to enjoy their time together with their friends and ignore that these visions and disturbances are increasing in frequency. Of course, this doesn’t go quite as planned.
At first glance, Demons appears to be a straightforward horror movie but it’s actually a family drama at heart. The root of the plot is about family, consequences, and cause and effect. The meat of the movie focuses on the intricacies between family members and different familial situations. The story utilizes flashbacks in order to give the viewer a deeper understanding of what actually took place and how those experiences have shaped their lives today. We learn about the religiously fanatical father who requested the exorcism, the local doctor who seems unequipped to assess the situation in a secular fashion, and the moments leading up to the young girl’s death (Jewel played by Jessica Harthcock). Instead of spending the majority of the time with scares, Demons dives head first into in-depth character development. I would’ve loved more tension and horror but fans who prefer movies with a lot of development and backstory should be pleased with this release. That being said, DEMONS WILL SCARE THE HELL INTO YOU!