Night of the Demons - 6/31 Days of Halloween
We've made it to day six! I had never watched today's movie before, but had watched the remake starring Shannon Elizabeth. Honestly, I can't remember anything about it. Clearly it made an impression on me, eh? I have a feeling the original Night of the Demons will be more memorable.
The film opens with a really cool animated credits sequence with some spooky demonic imagery. We then see some teens out for a Halloween joy ride harassing an old man with secret plans to hand out apples stuffed with razor blades to kids (a subplot that's revisited at the film's close). Several local teens prepare to ditch the school dance to attend a private party at an abandoned funeral parlor, hosted by "weird" girl Angela and her friend Suzanne (played by Linnea Quigley).
(Side note: This is the second film on our list featuring cast members of my all-time favorite horror flick The Return of the Living Dead, which features Quigley as Trash and Children of the Corn's John Philbin as Chuck. I wonder how many other ROTLD alumni we'll spot as the marathon continues.)
The teens arrive at the party, commenting on the brick wall surrounding the property. The wall marks an underground stream, which according to legend, demonic forces cannot pass. As the party gets underway, the host suggests a seance as a party game, but the ritual awakens a demon from the bowels of the house that possesses Suzanne, slowly making its way into the other teens until Judy, Sal, and Rodger are forced to band together to escape. But there's just one problem... the gate in the perimeter wall has vanished, trapping them inside with Angela and her demonic undead minions.
I'm just gonna say right off the bat that I really enjoyed this one. A few of the characters were annoying to the point of being totally unlikable, but that just made seeing them get killed by the demons all the more satisfying. I was happy to see that Rodger didn't fall prey to that tired, old trope about the black guy dying first.
The opening animation, makeup effects, and soundtrack are all top notch. The sound effects sounded strange to the point of being distracting, but I'm not sure if that was part of the movie's actual sound or if Tubi's transfer of the film is flawed. There were a few predictable jump scares, and the movie never really took me by surprise at any point, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. I'm curious about the sequels now, so maybe they'll feature next year.