Night-of-the-demons-collectors-bluray-cover-art-imagesHorror | 14 October 1988 (USA)

A group of teens party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night. When an evil force awakens, demonic spirits keep them from leaving and turn their party into a living hell.

  • NEW commentary with Director Kevin Tenney and actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo and FX artist Steve Johnson!
  • NEW interviews with cast and crews including director Kevin Tenney, writer/producer Joe Augustyn and actress Linnea Quigley
  • Audio Commentary With Director Kevin Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten and Producer Jeff Geoffray
  • Promo Reel
  • Video Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV and Radio Spots
  • Still Galleries

Many people have spent many nights in haunted houses but they aren’t always eventful. Usually, the only events at all are drinking and friends poking at each other for cheap scares. As lame as it may sound, Night of the Demons is pretty much that… at first. What starts off harmless and focused on a good time, methodically turns south. But enough of that, you’ve read the synopsis over there, you get the picture.

I have seen Night of the Demons probably ten solid times in my life and I’ve yet to get the least bit bored with it. What does that say about me?

It is cheesy? Yes.

Does it lack the suspense of a film like The Conjuring? Yes, but it’s also nostalgic and well… a hell of a lot of fun!

There’s your focus for watching Night of the Demons; aim to have a good time and remember fonder times. You’ll find yourself in a better place with it instead of going in and picking it apart. There are tons of mnsh_night_ofthe_demons-5articles devoted to picking films apart, and while it is fun, it makes us see things we’d at times be better off not.

One area where I feel this film really excels is in its mood. It just isn’t. It isn’t moody. It’s never too heavy. It doesn’t try to do what, in my opinion, it never set out to do; take your breath away and make you worry about the characters. We’re given enough dialogue and time with the characters to get to know who we’re to like and not, but it never feels so personal that we’ll just die if anything happens to any particular one. But that aside, you will get a good idea from the first 30 minutes who to root for. It’s a pretty standard formula they’ve got here but with many of its own things that don’t feel rehashed in a very slasher-driven decade. Night of the Demons does a smart thing in steering away from everything else surrounding, really setting itself out as its own entity. The sequels are good too actually, but that’s subjectively for a different post.

Another thing that helps it really stand out is a story that feels fresh. Hell Night is a similar spooked-house film, the house thing has been done a few times in the same sort of vein, but it’s a bit different here. It isn’t a cookie-cutter haunted house flick where skeletons jump out at you and spirits roam the halls. Possession is more the focus, the house is just a really nice setting. It lends itself to answering ‘why’ in the story but it’s just a really cool, rundown clunker that a bunch of teenagers want to party at. It has town-lore behind it, so naturally, it’s a great place to drink  and eat finger-foods.

The video and audio quality are pristine as opposed to my old VHS copy I’ve watched ragged. If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pick this subject apart mnsh_night_ofthe_demons-18much, I just pit these releases against what I’m used to (DVD/VHS/TV) and they’ve always won. I’m by no means a ‘casual fan’ of these beloved classics, I’m as much a fiend as anyone, but I’m not hard to please either. I’m not so low about it that I don’t ‘notice’ problems, I just don’t complain unless they’re a really issue for me. The film has never looked so sharp or detailed as it does on this ShoutFactory release yet the blacks and colors still feel very true to the 80’s. I have zero complaints but we’d love to hear from you guys as to any issues the picture or audio may have. That’s the beauty of individual reviews and their strong-points.

The artwork, by the way, is a favorite of mine from SF. I love glaring at the original cases to these older films but this one did it justice where I felt the original did not so much. But, as always, if you prefer the original, SF does a great thing with giving you a backside to their artwork to flip around and have it. They’re good at what they do and are getting better and better with all the feedback.

So, give them that feedback! While I love this film AND this release of it, feel free to chime in and give your thoughts.