Movie Review: Night of the Demons (1988)

Synopsis: Rather than go to a high school dance, a group of friends instead decides to celebrate Halloween in an abandoned funeral home with a dark past. While using a mirror to perform a seance, they inadvertently wake a demon that quickly begins to kill and possess members of the party.

Who's in it? The movie stars Cathy PodewellAlvin AlexisHal HavinsAllison Barron and Harold Ayer.

Review: After having some family time by taking the kids bowling yesterday evening, my wife and I decided to stay home last night and watch a movie instead. It had been a while since I last saw Night of the Demons and she had never seen it, so I selected it. As it turns out, the movie isn't as good as I remembered.

On the surface, the movie has a good premise and setting. Granted, it isn't anything overly unique compared to other horror films but had the potential for some easy scares. Unfortunately, like so many other movies in this genre, the execution didn't take full advantage of that.

One of the main problems with this movie is one I've seen too often lately, pacing. There is a lot of build but not a whole lot of action until toward the end of the film. In fact, the filmmakers seemed to be more interested in finding ways to show nudity and put in a very long and weird dance scene than doing anything that would be scary.  

Another thing I found I disliked about this movie was the way the jerks outnumbered the non-jerks. Not only did it make me not care if any of them died but it also challenged my ability to believe any of them were friends in the first place. This was especially true of the main protagonist, Judy (Podewell), she was so sweet and innocent compared to the rest, she seemed completely out of place. This was especially true of that boyfriend of hers (Lance Fenton). 

I will admit the ending of the movie was pretty good, both the suspense at the very end and the surprise ending involving an old man (Aver) shown earlier in the movie. It's just too bad the rest of the film really didn't hold up its own end.

Final Opinion: Unfortunately, my memory about the first time I saw this movie failed me and it wasn't as good as I remembered. Perhaps with a lot better execution, it wouldn't have been a disappointment, but as-is, it isn't much more than an average movie.

My Grade: C


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