Written and Directed by Jeremy Wechter
A group of former college buddies hook up online for their regular video web chat but it seems they’re not alone when a malevolent spirit decides to use the medium to possess and spread its evil.
Posing as a true story, modern tech-inspired horror E-DEMON opens with an introduction from a masked man about an horrific series of mysterious homicides branded the Quad Murders with numerous TV reports and online articles detailing the brutal murders of four friends with each of their bodies found on the same night but in different states. With the crimes suspected as being connected, the anonymous speaker has a theory of his own and decides to show the viewer footage of the events that took place the night they died, to let the audience make their own mind up about what transpired that evening.
Presented as a found footage in a rather authentic and modern way, E-DEMON will grab the attention of millennials, Facebook fans, YouTube subscribers and internet nerds the world over with its tech-friendly flavour. It’s faux-real life approach adds a pure vibe to the movie with the four friends actually convincing as old college mates, particularly as two of them start to dick about, pulling “freak out” pranks to scare their friends – an activity they seemed to indulge in often at college and have since continued. When not pranking one another, they seem to bitch about each other behind one another’s back as ringleader A.J. boasts about his wealth and new woman (clearly the latest in a string of brief flings) whilst mate Mar has returned to live with his parents at the age of 30 which subjects him to much ridicule. Dwayne is happily married to Eva and they have two young daughters whilst Kendra is celebrating a publishing deal for a book she’s written and illustrated. Everyone seems to be in a great place except for Mar though he seems happy enough with the situation he’s in even if he clearly struggles in justifying it to his more successful friends.
E-DEMON starts off quite playfully and the way in which the friends engage in banter puts you at ease before it decides to opt to go down the spirit route. This is all thanks to good ol’ Gamma (assuming it’s ‘grandma’) and her tales of Salem witch trials and haunted trunks that contain evil spirits that once belonged to her great, great, great, great grandmother. It’s not surprising when Mar, clearly the most immature of the group, decides to mess around with that which he’s been warned against: the cursed trunk which sits in the attic. It isn’t long before said trunk’s contents wreak havoc involving possession, chanting, sacrifice, incest and Rosemary’s Baby style impending birth of evil itself. It has all the ingredients for a creepy horror and whilst its novel method of narrative works really well to set the scene, it’s disappointing to find that possession angle seems to struggle somewhat. Whether it’s because scenes feel like they repeat, albeit with a different character, or the method of possession seems a bit static compared to other movies of that genre, I’m not 100% sure. All I know is that it’s this part of the film that feels like the weakest link and seems to struggle to really deliver the scares or at least be bold with the fear factor.
As a whole, E-DEMON is an enjoyable movie. Convincing performances from the main cast are what keeps you glued to the screen as it is these who are carrying the narrative of what we see on screen thanks to the webcam method of storytelling. Had these guys (and gal) not gelled properly, the film would definitely not leave the starting block. By producing a modern take on the possession genre by linking it with technology, E-DEMON really feels like an intimate horror that you’ve been invited to be a part of. When all hell breaks lose, you do feel both complicit and helpless, wishing to reach out and help those affected. If only the scenes of horror could have a bit more conviction to really put fear in the heart of the viewer.