It would be easy to say that folk horror’s have made something of a resurgence recently, quickly followed by a reference to Aster’s ‘Midsommar’, but in all honesty the genre has always been something of an understated mainstay of most horror festivals year after year.

Like the stories many are based on, in the hands of the right raconteur, the oft more subtle visual storytelling offer up campfire like chills and typically, if there’s a pagan god with a cool name or murderous legend, there will be a film about them.

In the case of ‘Demigod’ we learn the story of Cernunnos – The god of the Wild, Beasts and Hunters.

The plot follows a couple who, upon returning to a childhood home, begin to realise that something that was passed off as a childhood nightmare, quickly becomes something of a reality when they are captured by cultists and forced to be part of a ceremonial hunt in a ritual as appeasement for the god.

Whilst the film brings together an eclectic mixture of characters – a guy and his kid, a prostitute and her client, a smart mouthed student type and our two main characters – its all fairly inconsequential as, after a ritualistic disembowelment of one character, which wouldn’t have looked out of place in a ‘Wrong Turn’ movie, the group are released into the wild to fend for themselves: or not, as the case maybe.

Whilst the films initial setup was typically by the numbers, with antagonists offering up an over-dose of exposition to a group of people who don’t seem to get their heads around their own life scenario never mind this, the film does stand out a little from other folk horrors (which tend to be a little more atmospheric and character driven) offering us a more familiar slasher style cat and mouse scenario leading to a number of satisfying and often bloody kills with some nice gooey practical effects.

Plot wise there are some interesting little twists within the character interactions, but nothing you haven’t seen before, or indeed see coming first; and the story eventually returns to more familiar B-movie horror tropes in its predicable and typical conclusion.

Whilst the film peaks with the scenes containing its more visceral visuals, the film struggles to capture the imagination of the viewer as effectively as it might, relying less on visual storytelling and intrigue, in favour of liberal verbal exposition, which is a shame because save for a number of scenes which evoke spiritualised sentiments, there are an abundance of others where dodgy German accents and hammy looking costumes, and props break the immersion.

Overall as with many examples of ‘folk horror’ movies ‘Demigod’ sits roughly in the middle of my scoring, its not a bad film by any stretch it just struggles to capitalise on the mystery and intrigue of its source material; for once I needed it to be more subtle. It has the occasional scene here and there which gives it a more traditional edge, but there are too many moments where the films evident budget is betrayed by tacky costumes and overly cheesy dialogue.

Its best moments will suit fans of back woods slasher films, but against those, ‘Demigods’ plentiful dialogue might be seen as a compromise to the pace.