Demons 2 (Dèmoni 2… L’incubo ritorna)
demons | demons 2 | lamberto bava | dario argento | franco ferrini | dardano sacchetti | david edwin knight | nancy brilli | coralina cataldi-tassoni | italy | sequel | infection | possession | possessed | monster | creature | bobby rhodes | asia argento | virginia bryant
Film: Demons 2 (Dèmoni 2… L’incubo ritorna)
Director: Lamberto Bava
Writer: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
This film is one that I originally saw growing up. My father had gotten his one and the original on VHS. My sister and I would watch this regularly. I wasn’t as much as fan of this one though, I could tell even back then that it was a step back. I had watched this once with a critical eye as an adult. The reason for the rewatch was checking out my new 4K. The synopsis is a group of tenants and visitors are trapped in a 10-story high-rise apartment building infested with demons who hunt the dwindling humans down.
As the synopsis states, we’re in an apartment building that I’m guessing was high tech for the time and completely secure. The film begins with a red liquid falling onto a large knife and it turns out that it is jam or jelly. The person is making a cake for someone named Sally as it is her birthday.
We then meet her as Sally is played by Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni. She is not having a good day though as she feels like everything is being messed up and she is frustrated. It seems she would much rather watch the horror film that is on television about demons. Ulla (Maria Chiara Sasso) tries to convince her to come out and have fun. She points out that she looks fine and that everyone is having fun.
The movie then introduces us the others in this building. There is a young married couple of George (David Edwin Knight) and Hannah (Nancy Brilli). She is pregnant and he is in college. There is a personal trainer named Hank (Bobby Rhodes) and he has a bunch of people who work out with him in the gym of this building.
There’s a family that we shift over to. They’re watching this program about demons. The daughter is ingrained, Ingrid Haller (Asia Argento), in her debut as her father is the producer and co-writer. Her father in the movie is Antonio Cantafora and her mother is Helga (Luisa Passega). There is a prostitute who comes into the building the same time as George. Her name is Mary (Virginia Bryant). We also meet a woman with a dog, Anita Bartolucci and a little boy is left alone while his parents go out to dinner. His name is Tommy (Marco Vivio). It seems that most everyone is watching the film about the demons as well.
Sally’s night is ruined when one of her friends answers the phone and invites a jerk to come over. We end up seeing the jerk is Jake (Lorenzo Gioielli). He is dressed as a punk and is with three friends, one of which is scared by his driving. This upsets Sally to the point where she hides in her room. Ulla tells the guy who answered to go downstairs to tell Jake that he is not allowed to come up.
Things take a turn when Sally is attacked by a demon from the television. This changes her and she goes on a killing spree in her apartment, changing everyone there into a demon as well. This movie introduces that if you touch the blood of a demon, it burns and changes you. It also has properties like acid. This secured apartment building becomes a death trap as the demons hunt those that aren’t infected.
That should be enough for the synopsis and introducing you to the characters. Much like the original, I’m assuming most horror fans have seen this. What is interesting is that growing, this and the original terrified me. It still gets my anxiety going and my heart racing. Thinking about this critically, what makes this scary is that our characters are trapped in this apartment building with this menace. I don’t know if I fully buy it, but it makes more sense there than the original. We are also expanding the mythology with the blood being like acid and affecting those that touch it. I do like this idea as it allows the infection/curse to spread faster.
How this infection starts though doesn’t make the most sense. For some reason, a demon from the movie comes out and attacks Sally. What I will say though, this movie does give somewhat of an explanation late in the movie. It does correlate with something in the original one as well. There is an abandoned and almost automated television studio where the first one had the empty projection room. This movie comes full circle with its final scenes to the first infection and I can dig that at least. Part of what we are getting here is the Italian nightmare logic and you just have to roll with it.
Where I’ll go next would be the effects. The demon make-up is great. They look gross and horrifying. Going along with them expanding more of the mythology, there is a dog that becomes a demon, which is something new this film explored. We also get a child changing into one as well. The worst effect of the movie comes from there, as it looks like a puppet. I can commend them for going practical. I would also give credit here to the effects of when people are being attacked. That is something else that is well done. I did want to give special credit here to Cataldi-Tassoni, she is the best demon in the movie by far.
I’ll shift over to the acting. I’ll be honest, it isn’t great, but it also doesn’t need it. This is a creature feature. We want to see the monsters and them attacking people. Going along with that thought process, this is solid. I thought that Knight was good as our hero. I like the idea that Brilli is pregnant as that adds a dimension. I do think she gets scratched and
The movie ignores it. That doesn’t ruin it though. I’ve said that I liked Cataldi-Tassoni was great as our featured demon. Her normal is annoying, but I think that fits the role she is playing. I liked to see Rhodes back along with Lino Salemme who plays a security guard. It is also fun to see a young Asia Argento here. Other than that, the rest of the cast is solid. We get an interesting cross-section of people who would live in a building like this.
Then last things to go into would be the cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, I think this is shot well. They do some great things with lighting and making the eyes of the demons looking like they glow. That was eerie. Going along with that, they do this looking up and down the stairwell. That was used well. The soundtrack here isn’t as iconic, but I do love the theme song. It adds a layer of creepiness that I can appreciate. The rest of it works for what was needed. The growling and roaring of the demons add to the atmosphere as well.
With that said though, I would recommend this film. This plays much like the earlier one as an infection film that would lead to things like [Rec] and 28 Days Later. This one is not as good as its predecessor, but it is still solid. The acting is okay, but the action is what you’re here for and its good. The setting helps make this movie and builds on the tension as well as horror and atmosphere. It does come with its issues, but not enough to ruin the film for me. I will re-iterate is from Italy, so keep that in mind as the actors are dubbed over so the words do not line up. If you can get past that, this film is creepy and well worth at least a viewing, especially if you liked the first one. It isn’t as good, but a worthy follow up.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10