By Chris Nashawaty
Updated September 08, 2016 at 03:47 PM EDT
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Demon (2016 film)

type
  • Movie

You say dark and artsy Polish ghost story, I say sign me up. But you might not want to be as quick to accept that dare. Heavy on atmosphere and symbolism but light on actual scares, director Marcin Wrona’s generically titled Demon is a so-so meditation on historical amnesia. It’s also so weighted down with mysticism and metaphor it forgets to quicken your pulse or whiten your knuckles.

Israeli actor Italy Tiran stars as Piotr, a young businessman (and dead-ringer for a young, Shallow Grave-era Ewan McGregor) who moves from England to marry his fiancé (Agnieszka Zulewska) at her grandparents’ run-down rural farmhouse in rural Poland. The place is spooky enough, even if it didn’t constantly rain there and there wasn’t a pile of human bones buried out back. But, there is, and it’s enough to send Piotr, on the eve of his wedding, around the bend. Soon, he’s hallucinating images of a young ashen-faced woman dressed in bridal white and getting bloody noses. What does it all mean?

As the rollicking, vodka-fueled nuptial festivities kick into high gear, the audience finds out. But the explanation isn’t satisfying or particularly terrifying. It’s also slow coming. What dread there is comes from the film’s eerie score, which does more than its share of heavy lifting for the undercooked script about the sins of the past that can’t be buried once they’ve been unearthed. If you seen your fair share of demonic possession stories, you can safely sit this one out no matter how tempting its exotic “imported from Poland” label may seem. C

Demon (2016 film)

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 94 minutes

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