Demons 2 DVD Review
Directed by Lamberto Bava
Written by Lamberta Bava, Dario Argento
1986, Region A, 88 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on November 11, 2014
David Edwin Knight as George
Nancy Brilli as Hannah
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni as Sally Day
Bobby Rhodes as Hank
Asia Argento as Ingrid Haller
There is an inherent amount of skepticism when it comes to sequels. If the new installment mimics too much about what was successful about the predecessor, it can feel as though it is infringing on a prior fan-base and not bringing anything new to the table. Conversely, if it is too different, it may feel detached and not cohesive with the rest of the series. Demons 2, released a year after the first film, manages to find a fairly steady balance, because it is different enough to not feel like a cheap money-grab, but it remains in the distinguishable aesthetic that makes both movies easy to love. Although it is a successful film in that regard, it could have gone further to set itself apart from the first movie by raising the stakes even higher in gory fun, instead of keeping it at the relative level of chaos that the first movie possesses.
A stuffy and irritable resident of a high-rise apartment building is having her birthday party at her place. Ripping everything out of her closet and fighting with her endlessly flat hair, she finds herself unable to have a good time, and decides to instead watch a film that is on television. The film follows several young students as they wander around a deserted area and happen upon a demon that is half buried in the ground. The demon springs to life and quickly possesses each of them, and after it is finished, it pushes through the TV screen and attacks the birthday girl and turns her into a demon as well. With several ghouls on the loose that are getting to each of the residents one by one and turning them into flesh-hungry monsters, the remaining few fight to survive.
Although Demons 2 is as ridiculous and sensational as Demons, it is often viewed as the lesser of the two films. Due to the fact that this franchise places importance on violence and excess over much plot, this sequel could have easily been improved if it showcased even more gore than the first and played with the already excellent special effects to create more memorable scenes of insanity. The only way to make a sequel to a movie like Demons is to up the ante; more kills, more gross-outs and much more blood, because it is what audiences will be expecting. There is so much about this film that effectively does just that (such as the outrageous and disgusting demon-dog), but there is still a feeling of wasted potential in spite of the fact that the film is still enjoyable. This installment is much less re-watchable than Demons, but it is still a ridiculous joy-ride of splatter and gore.
Video and Audio:
The high-definition transfer in the 1:66:1 aspect ratio that Synapse masterfully renders is sharp and bright, which remains in the fun tone to how the franchise should feel.
The audio is 2.0 Stereo, which can be alarming during louder scenes compared to quieter talking. Fortunately - most of this film is comprised of loud scenes, so it becomes easy to find a balance.
There are English subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing.
Apart from the original theatrical trailer, international English stereo soundtrack and newly translated optional English SDH subtitles - there are no other special features on this disc.