Overall Grade: (C-)
This horror movie is a great example of what you get from a film selling itself as being produced by James Wan, rather putting him in the directors chair with a pad and pencil.
“Demonic” may not be a great film but it did bring some moderate uniqueness to the story-line. The main plot focuses on a group of paranormal enthusiasts who try to summon the ghost inside a well known home in the area. When many of them are murdered a detective and his team arrive to try and piece together what happened.
This provided the film with a main plot themed on a paranormal horror angle, while the additions of the police involvement and sequencing of the time-line give a tinge of psychological-thriller. Frank Grillo plays the hardened detective and Maria Bello fills the roll of the police psychologist who focuses on uncovering the events of the night. Their additions to this film are what give it any kind of credibility.
Without their enjoyable performances the rest of the film would have turned out to be yet another of the repetitive ghost-themed horror romps giving you cardboard characters and a handful of decent jump-scenes in a script that will not evoke much tension. Not that the young cast was a deterrence to the film, most of their performances were passable, but the story-line on its own would have not brought anything new to the table.
With the flash-back technique the film uses you are given nice even doses of the younger cast and the more intriguing performance of Grillo and Bello. The cinematography was decent and I got a sense many times during this one that James Wan did offer some advice on the ways of catching good cinematic moments in the genre. As many other films like this do, there are your text-book set-ups for some good jumps, some you see coming and the good few you will not and they do manage to get the heart rate going.
The run-time keeps it short and sure the story will not blow you away but if you have watched many other less then impressive films in the genre and are a fan, then this one may be worth a watch. It will pass the time, but if your time is short then there are definitely better films out their to enjoy for the evening.