Boy oh boy, we are on a roll at the moment, so many cool films, 2017 has been a good year. For the second time in as many months we return to the land of the shamrock, this time, hot on the heels of cybergoth fem-fatale Taryn Barker (a relative of the Barker I wonder!), a young lady with all the skills to pay the bills when it comes to demon hunting in Zoe Kavanagh’s ‘Demon Hunter’.
Now before I start the review I just want to point one thing out, just to set the scene. You are either 18 years old (or wish your still were), hate authority, parents, school and wish you were a foxy demon hunter - with powers as strong as your attitude is bad - and love this film, or… you are not.
Yes, ‘Demon Hunter’, just like a number of films to pass us by over the years, sits very neatly into one very specific niche genre – and true to the definition of the word, you are either in or you’re out. Think, do I like any of these movies? ‘Ninjas vs Monsters’, ‘Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl’ and/or ‘Alien vs. Ninjas’!
If the answers yes, then keep reading, it’s your lucky day!
If not, the score I have awarded is probably not going to be reflective of your enjoyment. Consider that my caveat.
The plot of this film follows the aforementioned heroine as she battles the evil demon Fallstaff. Early on in life we see Taryn’s tragic backstory and her initiation into the dark world of the occult; namely the events which led to the kidnapping and subsequent death of her kid sister. Fast forward to modern times and we see her slicing and dicing up one of her unholy combatants in an alley way. After a surprisingly well choreographed fight scene she decapitates her assailant and nicks his head. Now the police are onto her and relentlessly pursue her. Once incarcerated she warns them what is coming for her and the impending doom they all face if they don’t listen to her. Needless to say, they don’t, and she must battle for survival and the fate of all those close to her.
Full of angst, underestimated and not listened to – what is a girl to do?!
I will tell you…
Drop corny one liners whenever you have just kicked the shit out of someone, spout occult mumbo jumbo to all those ordinary fools who wouldn’t listen and strut around to your own pulse-rate-inducing EBM soundtrack. This movie is certainly never dull! Whether making you cringe with some satisfyingly cheesy dialogue or assaulting your senses with some rather impressive action sequences (including some nice gore touches here and there I might add) this film simply keeps on the gas until the credits role.
Whilst on a technical level I would be getting a little too carried away if I said that the acting, script and overall cinematography was anything above average – especially the acting, which oddly – and despite the high-octane premise - saw characters seeming somewhat bored! The obvious exception was Niamh Hogan who played Taryn – she had enough charisma to carry the film to the credits. Where I feel the film deserves the most credit is in its attention to detail regarding the gore effects. Whilst most are CGI this film, must have been a beast to put together in post-production, and the overall production value represents what must have been a labour of love. It’s obvious that the film was made on a budget, but to be fair it does seem that the team clearly was wanting to put out the best product possible. I loved the mix of both digital and prosthetic effects, especially some of the katana slash wounds. I’m used to these sorts of movies falling a little flat in this department so kudos for this one delivering.
Overall, this review has been a little more meandering than I intended it to be, which I suppose is a little reflective of my mood throughout watching. It’s far from a perfect film, but it’s nothing if not entertaining! That said, give me something a little more relatable in the future and I reckon Zoe Kavanagh could be one to watch!