Quick-Thoughts: Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic

Well, at least I got to see the weirdest product placement for Uggs ever. 

In the case of feature-lengths, Neill Blomkamp’s career has declined much like that of M. Night Shyamalan’s. After debuting his first directorial motion picture District 9 (2009), an absolute critical and box-office success that pushed the boundaries of mockumentary filmmaking with its satirical blend of harmless aliens and political drama, he released two mediocre follow-ups titled Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015), movies that expressed similar vibes to his kickoff but with a hindrance from their half-baked and pedestrian dystopian commentaries. It seems as if Blomkamp, in the midst of having his chance to direct an Alien sequel canceled, has geared towards making high-octane short films instead to fill up the time in presence of coming up with new ideas for a fourth feature-length, which has now resulted in the low-budget thriller we see here. 

Demonic unfortunately is nothing more than an irredeemably cliché possession story meeting ends with a — slightly less offensive — cliché virtual reality story, knotting the two together as if their very mission were to express the word “vanilla” seamlessly. There is only one concept in this entire movie that I found to be somewhat interesting, and there are admittedly a few neat visual spectacles as to be expected from a Blomkamp production, but other than that, every other element here falls flat. There is like no momentum to the film as well, so it’s excruciating to sit through. The sound design, particularly during the horror sequences, was unbelievably obnoxious too; sinfully amateur one might say! 

So, yes, you could say I’m extremely disappointed. I can’t say that I have a whole lot of hope for Blomkamp to get back on track anytime soon especially after this atrocity. Three strikes, man. 

Verdict: D-

2021 Ranked

“Demonic” is now playing in theaters.

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