Demons 2 (Italian: Dèmoni 2), 1986.
Directed by Lamberto Bava.
Starring David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Bobby Rhodes and Asia Argento.
An apartment building becomes infected by demons, who then proceed to prey on the tenants.
Following the success of Demons, it came as no surprise that Dario Argento would produce a sequel. The first film ended with a suggestion and possibility of an expansive sequel, taking us into a post-apocalyptic Zombie-ravaged waste land. That isn’t the case here, as the film merely references the first whilst telling a new story. That is of course due to budgetary reasons, but nevertheless, having watched and enjoyed the first so much, a continuation of the story would have been welcomed.
Demons 2 focuses on an apartment building and its inhabitants. Like the first movie, it’s a confined space to be filled with demonic zombie foe. As with Demons, the film lacks a strong protagonist and any character development. Things start off pretty quickly as a woman celebrating her birthday manages to get herself zombiefied. From then on the demonic plague begins to spread through the building and it’s up to the residents to try and survive as best they can.
Throughout the history of cinema, sequels have mostly struggled to live up to the originals. Demons 2 is no different. The energy and entertainment of Lamberto Bava’s first film is sadly lacking here. The brilliantly gruesome effects from the original are also lacking, as are any memorable set pieces. It’s all a bit lazy and feels cheap(er). Demons had some great moments. The sort of stand out, memorable moments that top horror flicks need. There were some great and gruesome death scenes, but this sequel just lacks punch, while the Zombie performances kind of delves a bit too much into pantomime territory too.
There’s something lacking in Bava’s direction this time around too. Many theorists suggest, for example, that in Poltergeist, the film’s stylistics had more than a hint of Spielberg about it. Spielberg produced whilst the film was directed by Tobe Hooper. But many have wondered whether Spiely might have been pulling the strings. Who knows? Certainly, Demons had a certain Argento stamp about it, which doesn’t seem too evident in the sequel. Maybe a lower budget played a part, or just a general resting of laurels by all involved, but the sequel really struggles to come close to the first film’s style and pizazz. Elsewhere, Claudio Simonetti doesn’t return to score, and his music is most certainly missed. There is still a pretty decent soundtrack though, including The Cult.
With even less characterisation and a far less engaging cast (though it features Asia Argento in an early role), Demons 2 suffers from a major case of sequelitus. Even the one by one despatching of residents in all gruesome manners just doesn’t offer enough imagination for gore fans and the setting of a ridiculously hard to escape from apartment complex doesn’t offer the same unique tension of a creepy looking movie theatre. This is a highly forgettable slice of horror that won’t offer enough to keep genre fans satisfied. Italy has offered far better to cinema-goers, including the far superior predecessor.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★