‘The battle never ends’
The Demonologist is a 2018 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by J.M. Stelly (Abacus; Within Madness). The movie stars Brian Krause, Lara Grice, Dane Rhodes, Manon Pages, Kate Tumanova, Jared Bankens and Thomas Francis Murphy.
Detective Damien Seryph (Brian Krause) investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the four King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become The Demonologist…
The Demonologist has excellent production values for an indie horror movie: it looks great (especially the rituals and satanic murder set pieces), it’s pleasingly sonorous and the performances of the entire cast, especially Dane Rhodes as a scruffy old detective, hold up well. It means that The Demonologist will be a pleasure for most horror fans, especially those that appreciate character-driven scenes as opposed to relentless action ala’ Ghost Rider.
The downside of The Demonologist lies in its simplicity and the overt way that both the brief synopsis and the trailer let viewers know exactly what they are in for. Dammit, Brian Krause’s weary cop character is named Damien Seryph! So, what did we expect? Amazingly, he’s seemingly the only person unaware of his future “fate”.
There are a couple of twists along the way. But we all know to never trust those who are closest, surely? Never mind. Every satanic scenario since The Omen has foretold the doom that’s apparently upon us, so perhaps we are just supposed to get on with it and enjoy the performances and background detail. Which is not unreasonable. As Victor Manchester (Thomas Francis Murphy) informs us: “The stories are real, Damien […] Lucifer came to Earth to start his bloodline. To protect all of us!”
Suspension of disbelief aside, it seems a tall order to be convinced that a series of ritual killings would be investigated by a couple of over-worked local cops with just a selection of black and white crime scene stills in their office. Once Damien realises his true calling, tattooed arms ablaze, it seems all Hell will break loose but there’s just a minor rumble of sorts: the forces of darkness seem easily vanquished after such a well-developed build-up. Oh well, the demonic makeup is a kitsch joy to behold, tho some unwelcome CGI be damned!
The movie ends with what seems like a set-up for a sequel (or even series of sequels) with Brian Krause looking mean in a leather coat as “the Devil of devils” and ready to kick demon ass. As previously mentioned, this is all in the trailer so we are in spoiler-be-damned territory.
The Demonologist is fluff, yet well-delivered and reasonably enjoyable. Lacking any particular nuances that single it out from the cursed crowd, this is one to go into expecting the expected. It was foretold, after all.
Adrian J Smith, HORRORPEDIA
“Despite some minor flaws and quirks, The Demonologist was a great movie. Without quirks, nothing in life would be too interesting. The cinematography and acting were great, and the story is one wild ride!” Rowyn Richards, Decay Mag
“The dialogue is rather bizarre and the acting laughable particularly from Krause who I did not warm to at all. Manon Pages as Meredith who was supposed to be the Devil in human form was really cringey as well. It’s confusing and slow to start and then rushes very quickly through a large final plot reveal that leaves you feeling flat and disinterested…” Sarah Budd, Horrorscreams Videovault
The Demonologist premiered On Demand on January 1, 2019, via Uncork’d Entertainment.
Cast and characters:
- Brian Krause … Damien Seryph – Cucuy: The Boogeyman; Plan 9; House of Purgatory; Sleepwalkers; et al
- Dane Rhodes … Frank Garrison
- Manon Pages … Meredith Carr
- Kate Tumanova … Abigail “Abby” Moore
- Jared Bankens … Ian Parrish
- Thomas Francis Murphy … Victor Manchester – Gothic Harvest; Mindhunter TV series; Jeepers Creepers 3; Ozark Sharks; Abbatoir; Demonic; Starve; Ghost Shark; Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Gators
- Scott Allen Perry … The Magus
- Lara Grice … Joan – Eat, Brains, Love; Logan; Scream Queens; Scream: The TV series; The Final Destination; The Reaping; Locusts
- Jared Antoline … William Seryph
- Kurt DeVille … Thomas Mallen
- Don Yesso … Captain Meechum
- Jerry Katz … Elric
- Keegan Macy … Terric
- Rhonda Johnson Dents … Esther
- Jeff Pearson … Abatu
- Tanyell Q. Waivers … Annelise
- Trey Nolde … Young Damian
- Shawn Bradly Hoefer … Billy Conway
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