31 Days of Horror: #21 – Night of the Demons

31 Days of Horror: #21 – Night of the Demons

Your daily bitesized guide to the films you should be watching this Halloween season…

NOTD (1)Night of the Demons (1988)

Directed by Kevin Tenney
Written by Joe Augustyn

Starring Amelia Kinkade, William Gallo, Linnea Quigley, Cathy Podewell

Kevin S. Tenney’s directorial career hit the ground running with the superb Witchboard, followed by this little cracker, before then turning a little mediocre with such DTV rot as Arrival II and Demolition University.

Night of the Demons sees a gang of ten teenagers descend upon an abandoned mortuary, Hull House, for the ultimate Halloween party which has been organised by social outcast Angela (Amelia Kinkade). Following a séance – which naturally seems like a good idea at the time – they unwittingly unleash a dormant demon who begins to gradually possess each teenager one by one.

The predictability of the narrative thankfully doesn’t stand in the way of this film being an undoubted highlight of late eighties horror. The initial exposition requires a little endurance, but following that we have a heady mix of gore that features throat ripping, razor blade slashing and a glorious Fulci-esque eye-gouging; it’s no surprise that most of the SFX crew went on to big box office gigs. Great performances gloss over the clichéd nature of each of the characters (token black guy, fat guy, goth girl…), and by the end you realise that this kind of movie is what made you fall in love with horror in the first place: It’s just fun.

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