Executing a perfect horror flick can be an arduous task, getting all the right elements to force the feeling of fear and anxiety in the viewer. Many films are not able to do all of this whilst trying to tell a story that makes sense.
In Demigod, upon the death of her grandfather, a woman, Robin Murphy (Rachel Nichols) and her husband return to her birthplace in Germany’s Black Forest, only to find a terrifying secret awaits them.
“Are we sure Grandpa Karl wasn’t a serial killer?” Leo, Robin‘s husband had to ask just as they arrived at the cottage. The look and feel of the cabin in the woods definitely have creepy, weird vibes and you would wonder why anyone would want to go back there.
The couple is attacked and kidnapped on their first night. They wake up held captive amongst two other women as well as Arthur and his young daughter who they had encountered earlier on in the day.
Their captors are a strange clothed group of worshipers of a creature called Cernunnos. Who seem to need Robin for some sort of sacrifice that must be preceded by a hunt by Cernunnos.
The hunter, we are led to believe is a Demigod responsible for the good fortunes and flourishing of live game and nature in the Black Forest. And everyone must bow to him.
Leo Murphy, Robin’s husband (played by Yohance Myles) is the only character who seems to have been given a sense of humour. His dialogue is slightly laced with some witty jabs as if to provide a few laughs in the film. But it’s nothing heavy to even pass as a dark comedy that fits the predicament they are faced with.
Robin sees constant flashbacks of her and her grandpa Karl in the woods. She shares stories of growing up and how she is scared by those memories. But does those memories provide any answers to all that is happening now?
Writer and director, Miles Doleac stars as Arthur Fuchs in this film. His character serves as the anchor that brings some stability and clarity to the story. He seems to be the only one who knows all that is going on and provides some explanation about all that is happening and why everything is happening. From that start, you can’t tell if he’s the hero or villain. However, his motivation is made clear later on.
They are all chased around the woods and they die fast as the film builds up to what it intends to be a compelling intense climax.
In typical horror slasher film fashion, the visuals are accompanied by a sound score that is intended to set the tone of suspense and some intensity. You get the constant creepy feel that something or someone is about to jump out from nowhere and give you a scare but nothing intense happens. Several of the scenes are dragged on and you have to pay attention to the sometimes-lengthy dialogue just to keep up with everything.
Demigod is one of those films that requires a reasonable amount of your attention and focus for you to understand and appreciate it. It might be slow-paced but packs a lot of its details in the dialogue which is sometimes Dutch with English subtitling. However, a lot more is not explained or detailed enough.
I would score Demigod 5/10. It works as a decent little horror flick to while away some time but isn’t enough to make you want to keep the light on always whilst constantly watching your back. It lacks the intensity to keep your blood boiling and your heart racing.
The film’s concept is okay but was not very well executed. Leaving an almost sour taste in the viewer’s mouth. What’s the point of watching a horror flick if it doesn’t leave you with goosebumps or chills down your spine.
Perhaps with some much darker scenes, some creepier aesthetics and a little more gore this would have worked.
Demigod is available on-demand starting 15th October. If you are into mythical and folklore stuff and slasher films set in the woods and have some patience to sit through a slow-paced horror, then you should see this one.