A young man struggling with a broken heart finds that his new place is filled with restless spirits and they do NOT want his soul!
REASON: A young man struggling with a broken heart learns that his new place is filled with restless spirits.
REVIEW: Breakups are tough and have been fodder for movie plots since the dawn of celluloid. Still, there is something about Sorry about the Demon it feels very unique. Probably the way it takes the feeling of a breakup and twists the knife with humor. Because imagine going through a bad breakup and being so down in the dumps that even the demon that lives in the house you’re renting doesn’t want your soul. You can see where the laughs are plentiful.
Sorry about the Demon opens with a family being haunted by a demon. They are told that the demon will not leave unless they sacrifice someone. Their solution is to have a friendless loser move into the house. This won me over immediately because it’s such a ridiculous way to handle the situation. This immediately displeased this family and caused me to look for the lead without even seeing him. It’s so simple, but goes so far as to give us a character that the audience will immediately relate to out of pity. Then it only gets better when Will is introduced.
Jon Michael Simpson absolutely rules as Will, the recently dumped and new tenant. The film often relies on his charisma to carry the scene and it absolutely works. I think you could just put a static camera in front of the guy and it would be fun. He is funny and provides most of the laughs. I could see him not fully understanding how life works for an entire movie. But he also shows some range and proves he’s more than just a comedy guy. I also really enjoyed Paige Evans’ Amy, who plays a great love interest and a terrifying demon. This role could have easily come across as bad, yet she is utterly endearing.
Apart from the wonderful cast, I think what works so well is the passage of a possession story wrapped around a breakup. These tales often consist of a demon taking over a broken person. So who better than someone who has recently had their heart stomped on? And since Will is such a lovable fool, the proceedings are more entertaining than pathetic. If anything, I could have gone for even more of the demon’s insult/mess with Will. If I had to knock anything it would be the supporting characters who were pretty ineffective. I wish they had a little more purpose. As it is, they pulled the film down.
Before this I had only seen Emily Hagins‘s work from the opening segment of the Scare package. But I have to change that as she delivers a fast paced, fun horror/rom-com with just the right amount of suspense. The music by Jeremy William Smith really sets the mood nicely. The score for indie horror often sinks into the background and doesn’t stand out. But whether it’s a romantic moment between Will and Amy, or a tense moment between a child and a demon, it always builds.
The first half, which is very volitional, is what I enjoyed the most. I will always love a tragic schlub and Simpson nails it. The second half, which is considerably more “rom-com” than I expected, loses a bit of its luster. It becomes more formal and the laughs are less frequent. But I enjoyed the effects and the overall message of the movie is cute. I’m sure it’s been said in review after review, but this is one demon you won’t be sorry for.
Sorry about the Demon is STREAMING ON SHUDDER JANUARY 19, 2023.