Demons Never Die

Director: Arjun Rose

Notable Cast: Robert Sheehan, Ashley Walters, Jennie Jacques, Jack Doolan, Jason Maza, Tulisa Contostavlos, Shanika Warren-Markland

Rating: R

Review:  Ok, demons may never die, but some are best left forgotten, cast down in a mental pit separate from the brain as to not clog up your hard drive with wasteful rubbish.  Producer Irdis Elba promoted Demons Never Die with joyful enthusiasm, saying he “leapt at the chance to spread its wings” after first timer Arjun Rose approached Elba with his script and a plea for help.  Elba made fun of America horror, and joked how British sensibilities wouldn’t show characters walking dumbly into a pitch black room with creepy music playing.  Those words have now come back to haunt Mr. Elba, as Demons Never Dies falls flatly in the middle of that scoffed at pack of films depicting their characters as utter morons.  So walking alone through the woods at night with a murderer on the loose is somehow on a different level than the American who walks into an unknown room with a murderer on the loose?  The hype was created but the ingenuity wasn’t, falling prey to the same horror mishaps said to be avoided.  Oh wait, Demons Never Die had British club music as a soundtrack.  That’s different from American horror!  But still just as bad.

So, in some British school somewhere, a group of teens meet every night online to talk about how hard life is and the upside of suicide…a suicide club if you will.  Be it lost love, abuse, homosexuality, or any other traumatic social experience, these kids see no solution.  Being all talk these kids use the idea as a future ending, until group member Amber (Contostavlos) is found dead in her room from suspected suicide.  This sparks a group debate over a mass suicide pact between them all, which is agreed upon as to go out with a bang at Ashleigh’s (Warren-Markland) annual rager.  In their new limited time mindset, the teens start hanging out more and spirits lift as the group shifts to more of a support system for one another.  Archie (Sheehan) and Jasmine (Jacques) start seeing one another while the rest of the group band together, eventually convincing themselves life is worth living.  Kenny (Maza) still believes death is the only answer though, still planning his blaze of glory for the party.  If he can survive that is.  Oh yeah, did I mention just as everyone calls off the suicide extravaganza, a serial killer starts stalking the group members, offing the new-found souls anyway.  Looks like this is one choice our characters can’t right.  Does this psycho think he’s doing our kids a favor?  Or is there pure evil on the prowl, pitting the slasher against innocent lives.

So, did I miss this whole British Suicide Club epidemic Demons Never Die brings up?

Demon’s Never Die is horror drivel, helplessly thought out and conceptualized by stretching one interesting point entirely too far.  As a whole, it seems as if Rose loves the drama of killing off characters who originally wanted to die themselves but through friendship had a change of heart, but couldn’t come up with a great reason why someone would want to actually kill them.  Sleekly dressed in all black and wearing a space age looking hockey mask, the killer’s identity is revealed for nothing but shock value, adding to the frustration.  A twist only works when interesting and elaborate, something our minds can really bend around: that’s the rule.  You can’t just insert a random character and go “Look!  It was ____ the whole time!!  Isn’t that wild!?”  OK, but why?  Huh?  Reasoning?  And why was a character paying the killer to off the children?  What was he getting out of it?  Demons Never Die is rather silly, leaving holes and questions for us to put as little effort as possible into answering before realising there’s no reason to sincerely care.  Why?  Because our characters, in fact, were idiots.

Yes Idris, even with those across the pond instincts, the characters lacked any real common sense and were sitting ducks for the hooded Darth Vader.  Demons Never Die falls into that category of horror movies you can’t help but yell at the screen during, as these dumb victims wander aimlessly to their deserving deaths.  Clichés, clichés, clichés.  Walking to a party, alone, in the woods, while a murderer is hunting your specific group of friends?  Dead.  Being chased by the murderer, in a house with partygoers, and instead of using the masses for protection, running outside, into the dark, intentionally separating yourself from safety?  Dead.  Going into a room, alone, and fixing food while never turning a single light on?  Dead!  Plus, these kids didn’t seem all too concerned that someone was hunting them, joking about and staying oblivious to the situation.  How many people commit suicide by repeatedly stabbing themselves in the stomach, probably one of the most painful ways to go?  Please, the horror logic used in Demons Never Die is somewhere on a kindergarten level, abandoning all senses of rationality and replacing it with deadly and convenient ignorance.

I’ve seen British slasher films before (i.e. Severance), and Demons Never Die doesn’t compare.  Hell, Demons Never Die doesn’t even compare with some new American slashers (i.e. Hatchet) who grasp horror more efficiently than Rose does.  Demons Never Die is sadly just another bargain bin teen slasher film with some pretty characters to look at all getting killed for our entertainment.  But entertainment being the key word, Demons Never Die never really is all that entertaining, minus a little fun gore and the hyped up atmosphere the score builds intermittently.  Other than that, the vague delivery of story and characters leaves the whole shebang feeling like a clouded mess, knowing events and people are important just based on the rules of horror and not by the actual writing or build up of the film itself.  A weak addition to any slasher film list, Demons Never Die blandly limps into the genre with more of the same problems, and no answers.

Final Rating: 5 bumping slasher beats out of 10

Oh no, it’s Chatroom all over again!!!!


About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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