A kick-ass review of Demon Messenger!
by: Charlie J.J. Kruger
There are thousands of self-made, no-budget films produced every year. Thousands. Most of them are horror films. As a horror fan (understatement of the century) I have come to terms with the fact that the genre I love is flooded past the point of saturation with new media constantly… and that a lot of it is complete and utter trash.
Making a good horror film is harder than making a normal good movie. It needs to be well written, well lit, well acted, well filmed, well edited, and well paced. Every part of this needs to come together for a horror film to be effective and scary. Most of the time with independent releases, the ball gets dropped. Not this time though. Not with ‘Demon Messenger’.
This is an effective, creepy, funny when it wants to be, monster in the woods film that is worth the time spent watching it. I knew that the crew and the actors were horror fans going into watching the movie, so I knew that they would be trying their hardest, but to be honest, I have had a lot of friends in film school or that just make student films… and… well… just because you like to watch movies doesn’t mean you should make them. So I was nervous that this film would end up falling on its snarling face. But it doesn’t! Actually, it charges right at you.
The story revolved around separate groups of people going out into the woods, aware that something is a little off. The story unfolds over the course of the film, so I cant tell you too much without giving away well timed reveals. That was something I really liked about this movie, actually. The story unfolds until the very end of the film. This is a common problem for independent horror films. They blast through the story in the first hour, or 45 minutes, and then give us another 45 minutes of just gore, fighting, screaming, or bad makeup effects. This movie was timed, and carefully laid out to avoid that. And on top of it all, there isn’t a single ‘bad’ makeup effect in the whole movie, only good ones.
With good makeup (amazing monster effects, truly amazing looking), well acted characters, effective storytelling, and well placed soundtrack work, it is actually almost easy to forget that you are watching an independent film. The only thing that gives it away is the quality of the digital recording, it doesn’t look like James Cameron filmed it. Though, the hand-held video quality lends a little bit of credence and reality to the film. It was interesting, while I was watching the movie (on a 32 inch 1080 TV) I felt like the movie was real. Like it was an account of real events, instead of something glowing on the screen in front of me.
All in all, this is a quality film, and a strong addition to any horror collector’s harddrive/DVD shelf. Pick it up and enjoy the horror!