Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
May I present the demons and devils list. Some of these movies deal with demonic possession, which disturbs me, and others focus on those who worship and seek to summon the Lord of Hell and his minions.
Hellraiser (1987): A classic and the first movie in a franchise that has been, for the most part, poorly done. The flick is based on the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart and what makes both the movie and the book memorable, are the Cenobites. Creepy, leather clad and mutated humans transformed into hellish minions seeking pleasure through pain and suffering. Love it. The novella was pretty good as Barker illustrates the demons and their pursuits artfully. It is a shame that the movie didn’t focus on the Cenobites more but it was still pretty good and Pinhead looked awesome.
The Exorcist (1973) & The Exorcist III (1990): What’s a list about demons without The Exorcist. I saw this when I was about 8. I had a little tiny TV in my room and it was on Superchannel. It scared the crap out of me for years and I avoided seeing it again for nearly 20 years. I have watched it a couple of times since then, including the release with the previously cut scenes, and it still scares the crap out of me. As I said, demonic possession disturbs me. I felt that the Exorcist III was a somewhat better movie as far as the story goes. E1 was good but I enjoyed the story of E3 more. There is one scene in E3 that freaks me out: when the nurse is walking down the hallway and the sheet covered person with the scissors follows her. Sends chill up my spine.
The Ninth Gate (1999): I don’t know too many people who like this movie but I just love it. Johnny Depp (sigh) plays a rare book dealer hired by Frank Langella to find the only authentic copy of a book said to be penned by Lucifer and able to summon the Beast to earth (it’s been awhile and I get lost in Johnny, so my plot might be a bit off). Another one based on a book called El Club Dumas penned by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I liked the book but the movie was much more enjoyable. You can almost never go wrong with Johnny Depp…sigh.
The House of the Devil (2009): I had to watch this twice before I really liked it. The first time I wasn’t sure what to think but after a second viewing, I really did like it. Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is desperate to move out her dorm and into an apartment but only has a couple of days to come up with the damage deposit. In a desperate move, she takes a babysitting job for a creepy man (Tom Noonan) and his creepy wife (Mary Woronov). The catch: there is no kid and she will be watching after the man’s mother. All of this is taking place on the night of a rare lunar eclipse when the vibe is already weird. Set in the 1980’s, the movie totally has an ’80’s feel not just from the aesthetics but from the production aspect as well. A good movie that steadily builds to a disturbing conclusion.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005): I watched this a couple of years ago and was impressed by the subtle but powerful performances of Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and Jennifer Carpenter. The story is sad and frightening and reportedly based upon true events. A young, somewhat sheltered woman from a rural area leaves home to attend college only to begin experiencing disturbing events that her and her family and priest attribute to demonic possession. The girl dies during an exorcism and the priest who performed it is put on trial for her death. Linney’s character is picked to defend him and slowly begins to encounter strange and supernatural events.
Honourable Mention: Black Death (2010) more witchy than demony but it was still quite good. Night of the Demons (2009) just plain bad but fun. The Devil’s Rock (2011) -very good, check out my full review, https://dawningcreates.com/2012/03/07/the-devils-rock-review/. Shelter (2010) a different style of possession and quite well done. The Shrine (2010) a trio of journalist head to Poland in search of a missing backpacker and uncover a sinister secret, full review https://dawningcreates.com/2011/09/04/the-shrine-review/