"No costume, no candy motherf#cker!"
So last year's Night of the Demons remake has finally made it home, but was it worth the wait? In not so many words... HELL YES. While the film as a whole is not the best the genre has seen it does stand in my mind as one of the best remakes in the past decade.
It's quite impossible to please everyone, but Night of the Demons treads that fine line between paying homage to the original and upping the ante for a younger audience of gory-hungry horror hounds. It all starts with a splatterific silent film sequence that helps to set the stage for the film's new backstory which, in my opinion, was indifferent to the film's conclusion but didn't manage to detract from the story either.
Lesson #1: Demons enjoy anal sex.
The story then picks up in the present day and proceeds to introduce us to the main cast of "demon chum." The set pieces are perfect and remind a bit of watching Hatchet opening sequence. Speaking of which, there are plenty of nods to both past and present contributions to the genre including a few extras dressed as Victor Crowley and the Saw doll in addition to an exceptionally tongue-in-cheek cameo by Linnea Quigley.
Aside from that there's a grossly appropriate recreation of the "lipstick scene" that'll be sure to give you the wiggins. My favorite scene, however, involves the film's two male leads, Jason and Dex, defending some costumed kiddies in their neighborhood by exacting some paintball-induced justice on a candy stealing bully. The smaller kids then proceed to beat the bully while he's on the ground. It's priceless.
Lesson #2: Demons do not, however, enjoy a rusty lead pipe to the face.
The rest of the film, while a bit darker, still maintains the same tone and refuses to take itself too seriously. Unlike the original, these demons have a purpose and the way in which they possess their unlucky hosts is both horrifyingly satisfying and violently appropriate. The only drawback was that it felt as though there should have been a few more extra bodies for the slaughter.
Another pleasant surprise was the soundtrack and while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the original, it earns bonus points for including the late Peter Steele's (Type O Negative) "Black No.1" during Angela's infamous dance sequence. In short, Night of the Demons hits all the right arteries on its way to being a self-assured cult classic for a new generation of horror fans.
Note: I chose to include the UK quad poster for the artwork because I refuse to acknowledge that a movie this good has such a lame DVD cover art. It's shameful.
This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com.