Don’t let the James Wan (Conjuring, Insidious, Saw) marketing lines fool you: Demonic is actually just a story by Wan, with the screenplay and direction by relative newcomer creative team Will Canon and Doug Simon, with help from TV editor/production manager Max La Bella. In other words: Men far from being horror movie veterans like Wan.
And so that’s perhaps why the trailer for Demonic plays so generically and forgettably: It’s like so many other ghost hunter/haunted house films of recent years (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, etc…), only slightly more (desperate? Ambitious?), throwing in both traditional third-person camera POV and found-footage-style first-person POV (as the ghost hunters document their findings).
Clearly the idea is that by using two formats of point-of-view the filmmakers can gain access to the type of scares in BOTH formats; something the trailer makes abundantly clear with moments of dramatic irony like a ghost standing silently behind a character, or someone’s found-footage camera POV being invaded by some ghost face jumping in from the peripheral. Yet even with two formats to play with, none of it looks all that inspired.
The only real discussion point otherwise is the cast: Frank Grillo (Captain America 2, The Purge 2) is a fast-rising fan-favorite, and Mario Bello is a respected veteran – but it’s unclear if they have anything more than a supporting role to play, as the cops who help set the stage for a flashback story. Otherwise we have seen-them-somewhere types like Cody Horn (Magic Mike) and Scott Mechlowicz (Eurotrip) leading the way.
Demonic will be in theaters sometime in 2015.