Demon Legacy Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by 101 Films
Directed by Rand Vossler
Written by Tracy Morse
2014, 93 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 19th May 2014
Matthew Currie Holmes as Wesley
AnnaMaria Demara as Michelle
Eileen Dietz as Grace
Angelina Lyubomirova as Veronica
“Evil Dead-ish” is the girls' description of the isolated cabin in the woods occupied by the five protagonists of Demon Legacy. I can only surmise that none of them actually watched Sam Raimi's Evil Dead (or Fede Alvarez's decent remake), since this cabin is clean, reasonably well-lit and completely lacking in Lovecraftian literature. Instead, the narrative's driving force is a dusty old ouija board, dug out of a cupboard by our dense leading ladies. Demons, as you'd expect, ensue.
“A twisted, terrifying tale of possession,” brags the quote on the cover, provided by horror review website darkzone.net. Sounds good, except none of that is true – not even, apparently, the source. Visit darkzone.net and you'll be treated to nothing more than an X-ray image of Homer Simpson's head. Google it and you'll see no history of film reviews – Demon Legacy or otherwise. I call shenanigans, not least because the film is in no way twisted or terrifying.
In describing the setting as “Evil Dead-ish”, writer Tracy Morse seems to think that he can get away with ripping off the horror classic wholesale. The demons here are thinly disguised Deadites, moving at an unnatural speed, eyes glazed over and talking utter nonsense throughout. To be fair, the girls spout jibberish before their possession too, so at least it's consistent. “OMG,” the most annoying of the leads shrieks, repeatedly. Where Cabin in the Woods and the Evil Dead remake effectively updated their clichéd stories for a modern audience, Demon Legacy just re-tells the same old one with added Ugg boots and OMGs.
Still, director Rand Vossler handles the low-budget action well enough, with just enough energy to not completely embarrass himself in comparison to Raimi, Alvarez and Drew Goddard. It feels very straight to DVD – like a TV remake in places – but keeps things well-lit and largely intelligible. The demons are overexposed, but there's fun to be had watching them frolic about in the woods. The acting is amateurish and bad, but the cast is large enough that the story doesn't anchor itself to one bad actress throughout, instead giving us different shades of awful for variety's sake. The all-female cast is a good idea (a female focused version of The Evil Dead could have been the next The Descent) but is quickly done away with as the horror comes into play, with the introduction of a charisma-free ex-boyfriend and sleazy bit of last act cannon fodder.
Demon Legacy isn't as entirely bad as elements of this review might suggest, but nor is it nearly as good as it could have been (or as its apparently dishonest marketing promises). It's goreless, lazy and predictable, packed with clichés, annoying characters and rubbish CGI horror. It may wish it was, but Demon Legacy is not Evil Dead-ish at all. This is merely Evil Dead for the Ugg boot generation.