Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
As technology progresses, we run into a situation where horror movies have an opportunity to do something different with the old standards. We’ve all seen these satanic possession movies before, they’ve been around almost since horror movies themselves have been – but with modern technology comes opportunities to present those standards in a brand new way.
With e-Demon, we begin by meeting four friends via web camera chat. They all live very different lives and have attended college together. They have maintained a friendship even though miles have kept them psychically apart. As we’re introduced to them we see the differences in their houses, their spaces, even the differences in what they’re drinking. They share good news about their lives while trading jabs especially to the ‘slacker’ who seems to have slid backwards after his college expierence. We get to know the four well enough that we understand where there are in life, whether it is family focused, work focused, or one of them having more money than he knows what to do with as we meet his somewhat trophy girlfriend and assistant.
But they share something in spite of their differences. Their college experience connected them as this quad of friends who made it through those difficult years together. As we begin seeing their lives and seeing their interaction with each other you quickly kind of get an idea of who’s who and quickly get an idea of their distinct personalities.
That’s something I would like especially give credit to the writer for – because it feels like we get to know the characters in a very organic way. I appreciate horror movies when they don’t just throw you into it – when you care about the people and feel like you know a little about each character.
There is a giant plot device that it’s up to you how much you want to kind of believe that it works the way that it does. The technology angle does work but anybody that’s been connected to wifi and then off of wifi knows that it doesn’t quite work as smoothly as they should. But they sell it by claiming it’s a high-end specialty headsets so each character can continue to record video, record audio, and live stream it to everyone else that’s watching.
The movie isn’t stuck in one room in front of the computer. We sometimes are able to move around, move rooms, or we see what the characters are seeing even if they’re out of houses entirely. It adds a really nice element where we’re not just sitting in front of a computer screen, we’re not just seeing this one stagnant room.
The primary plot of the movie focuses around this cursed trunk that resides in slacker Mar’s attic. We meet his grandma who resides in this rocking chair who has the role as the harbinger telling us, “Don’t touch the trunk, don’t go near the trunk, it’s our family curse to watch after the trunk.” And of course, the trunk happens to be neatly tucked away in an attic in Salem, Massachusetts.
Where else would you have a story who’s heart is about Satan and witches?
There’s a huge theme of trust in this movie, which is very nice especially for old friends. The movies poses questions about if our friendships can stand even as our lives take us down different paths.
It ties nicesly into the possession as a modern storyline – because without trust it creates this, ‘who do you believe?’, ‘what do you believe?’, ‘will they have your back?’ mentality.
I honestly enjoyed it more on a second watch, because I was looking for those hints of when everything went upside down. The details that points to when and how the possession really takes hold.
The entity itself is kind of secondary. The story is mostly about these friends and how they deal with it more-so than an all-powerful, dark thing that’s been hold up in a trunk for forever. There’s a gazillion ways to do horror movies and it’s nice when the characters are put first – a more character-driven take on a horror topic. When it all comes down to it, if we don’t care about those characters we aren’t invested in what happens next to them.
As a horror fan, I don’t even know how many possession movies or entity type movies I’ve seen. Whether it goes a little more ghost or a little more satanic it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day – they all use a lot of the same plot devices. But e-Demon is enjoyable because you weren’t quite sure what was real, you weren’t quite sure what you were entirely seeing and who was at the center of it.
e-Demon is a wonderful addition to the indie horror genre as a whole. It’s directed in a way that it really plays to it’s best side. Things that take a little more special effects were sometimes done just outside of the frame. That Hitchcock approach of if you can’t do something well on screen, sometimes doing it slightly off-camera and having you question what’s going on will add to the suspense.
This is without a doubt one of the best written stories that’s come across my screener library in a little while. It works very well within a small budget – introducting well rounded characters and leaving the door open for a sequel.
e-Demon is available on video on demand platforms.