Coming to theaters from director Marcin Wrona and The Orchard comes a modern day terror that could only be because of a “Demon.”
Piotr (Itay Tiran) is a young man in love with Zaneta (Agnieszka Zulewska). They prepare to redo the old farmhouse belonging to her family in time for their wedding. As he begins removing trees away from the house he turns up human remains beneath a tree.
Telling no one of the find, Piotr covers up the remains. That evening a rainstorm comes down and walking through the mud he disappears. Waking up the next morning, his groomsmen clean him up for his wedding day!
After a ceremony the reception takes place inside their barn with music and dancing. During the ceremony, Piotr becomes upset when a hole that he covered up earlier shows up. His father-in-law tells him that there are dogs buried on the property but Piotr isn’t convinced.
Best friend and brother-in-law Jansy (Tomasz Schuchardt) and Ronaldo (Tomasz Sietek) become worried about Piotr and asks father to tell them about what grandfather might have buried on the property. Not feeling well Piotr doesn’t understand what is happening to him seeing someone who can’t possibly be there.
The wedding it pushed into chaos as Piotr becomes something else. Through his own voice he tells everyone he is Hana, a woman who disappeared a very long time ago. Rumors are now flying through the wedding that Piotry is possessed by a dybbuk.
What’s a wedding without a dybbuk?
Piotr as Tiran is amazing with his portrayal of a spirit seeking revenge. From the moment he accidentally knocks over the tree in the yard I knew it wasn’t going to end well. The transformation is slow and steady but damn if it doesn’t play well when it all comes to an unbelievable ending.
Zulewska as Zaneta clearly is having the worst but most interest wedding ever. I felt so bad for her the entire film! I mean seriously, a wedding day is stressful enough without a fiancé/husband losing his mind in the weirdest way. Zulewska hung in there the entire film when I would have said ‘see ya!’
Grabowski as the Father clearly knows more than he is telling and has a mouth that goes from zero to 110 in no time flat. Keeping secrets from his daughter and her new husband, he consistently tries to cover things up because he has an agenda bigger than anyone knows.
Schuchardt as Jansy brought the couple together but it seems he did it more for his father than sister. Zietek as Ronaldo is as creepy a character as I have seen and it is all in the way he glares at people.
Cast also includes Katarzyna Herman as Gabryjelska, Adam Woronowicz as the Doctor, Wlodzimierz Press as the Teacher, Cezary Kosinski as the Priest and Maria Debska as Hana.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Demon” four tubs of popcorn out of five because of the sheer mixture of genres in this film. It is about love (kind of), a crazy family (sort of), a misunderstood dybbuk (to say the least), and secrets (loads of those). From the moment trouble shows up, it is easy to see how the viewer might guess the path the film takes.
Well, you’d be wrong and I’m happy to say so. As the story unfolds, it is this excellent cast that keeps the story twisting and turning with their performances. The cinematography and the old house are perfect to bring this story to the screen. I love the old style feel because I don’t need blood and gore to scare me – I’d rather be thrilled out of my sense and “Demon” does just that!
“Demon” is based on the play Adherence by Piotr Rowicki and won Best Horror Feature at the Austin Fantastic Fest. Director Marcin Wrona passed away just as his final feature film “Demon” was to premier in Poland.
In the end — always check the wedding guest list for a dybbuk!