Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Demonic’ Lacks Demons – Review

Demonic Poster
Warning: Mild Spoilers Included in This Review!

Demonic is writer/director/producer Neill Blomkamp’s latest film. Blomkamp secretly filmed this movie during the Covid-19 quarantine- an effort I don’t think he needed to make- and the film was later released on August 20, 2021. However, this movie only recently popped up on my radar as an early access film on Amazon Prime Video.

Many of you will recognize Neill Blomkamp for his work on District 9, Elysium, and Chappie. If you only remember District 9, then god bless you. Blomkamp was described as the next Spielberg for his innovative work on the film. A film that made me bawl my eyes out. However, he has since struggled to make lightning strike twice. Since I am a lover of the horror genre and a glutton for punishment, I rented the film from the Prime Video app.

After watching the 104-minute movie, I’m ready to give my review.

Demonic is about Carly (Carly Pope) who is estranged from her mother Angela (Nathalie Boltt) after her mom was convicted of killing 21 people. A good reason to be estranged from someone if you ask me. However, Carly keeps having dreams about her mother and being surrounded by fire.

See the source image
This is not an exact scene from the movie but it should have been.

As fate would have it, Carly gets a call from a shifty organization called Therapol, who has news of her mother. What’s that news? Oh, her mother is in a coma and they want to meet with Carly ASAP.  After briefly thinking about it, Carly meets up with Therapol. They want to send Carly into her mom’s brain/consciousness to see what caused her coma. It doesn’t take long for Carly to agree and the next thing you know she is inside her mother’s mind.

Angela’s mind looks like the Wal-Mart off-brand version of The Sims. Angela tells Carly to go home, I’m sorry but I’m also not sorry, seriously gtfo it’s not safe. It wasn’t the reunion Carly was hoping for and she leaves. However, the “it’s not safe” part lingers in Carly’s mind. Also, Therapol really wants Carly to go back in. And there, readers, is the basic plot of this film.

What? You’re waiting for the part about the demons? Oh, because the title is called Demonic? Spoiler Alert: Therapol is run by the Vatican and Angela has been possessed by a demon the entire time. Yay, mommy isn’t a murderer!  That’s it. That is your demon. Roll Credits.

Demonic never delivers on what potentially could be a good idea. Only this idea has been perfected by the video game, The Evil Within.  While The Evil Within doesn’t have the Vatican as its financial backing for its project, it does have a government program.  Also, the video game was downright horrifying! Demonic is not.

Neill Blomkamp continues to be a lava cake that you get excited for, only when you cut it open, no lava oozes out. Demonic is painfully boring with its slow pace, bad script, and failure to execute the assignment.  It is as if someone performed an exorcism over the script and the scary parts were rebuked.

I give Demonic an F

It continues to boggle my mind that the creator of the complex, detailed, and well-executed District 9 has created this sleeper of a film.  The film lacks substance, style, imagination, and horror. If you like the idea that Demonic was trying to achieve, I highly recommend you watch The Cell, Paprika, The Complex, or you can play the video game The Evil Within or The Evil Within 2. There is an episode of the Korean Variety show called “Great Escape” that executes the same idea but makes it a playable escape room!

Don’t waste your money on this film. Neill Blomkamp’s next film is titled Inferno; there isn’t any additional information regarding the film. I don’t know if the 5th time is the charm. But maybe studios should stop giving him chances.

That’s my review of Demonic, but what’s yours? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and online.

About Yali Perez

When she's not writing about pop culture for Fandom Spotlite, curating social media for the*gameHERS, or helping to produce the DB4L podcast, she is a single mom to the coolest kid in the world. In Yali's free time she likes to bake, exercise, watch horror films, and play Mario Kart. Yali's goal as a writer is to share her nontraditional and colorful view of the world with readers everywhere.

View all posts by Yali Perez

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