Inner Demon, 2014
Written and directed by Ursula Dabrowsky
Starring Sarah Jeavons, Kerry Ann Reid, Andreas Sobik
A teenage girl is abducted by a serial killer couple and manages to escape and find refuge in an isolated farmhouse, only to discover it is home to greater horrors and a malevolent spirit.
There is one huge problem that hangs over Inner Demon: a lack of restraint. It presents a very simple and high concept idea, but a lack of restraint means that a lot of unnecessary additions are put in place in the final third that ruin all tension built in the first two. Which is a real bloody shame.
Inner Demon kicks things off with a young woman being taken from her home and thrown in the back of a car. But due to being a resourceful lady, she manages to escape, but in the chase accidentally ends up at her chaser’s home, where she finds herself trapped.
That right there is a solid plot for a movie. But like Landmine Goes Click and Hellions, this is just the set-up for a more elaborate plot that feels unnecessary. And it wouldn’t matter so much if the first half wasn’t any good, but Inner Demon‘s first hour is utterly gripping. The film features little-to-no dialogue and director Ursula Dabrowsky ramps up the tension with some brilliant camera work and phenomenal editing.
Furthermore, the performance by Sarah Jeavons is first-class. You feel every ounce of her terror and pain, particularly in one scene where she attempts to sow herself back up using nothing but some fishing wire. Her chasers are worth mentioning, but they are there to serve a purpose, rather than carry the film like Jeavons. With that said, Andreas Sobik has a terrifying look about him, and he’s mere presence on screen is enough to send some shivers down your spine.
But it all comes back to the convoluted, stupid-as-balls ending which really comes out of nowhere. What was once a very grounded-in-reality movie, suddenly becomes something else. As was mentioned in my Landmine Goes Click review, it feels as though Dabrowsky got bored halfway through and decided to just write a new film, but just tacked it onto this script. It’s a real shame, as there was a lot of promise on show with Inner Demom. And again like Landmine Goes Click, this new direction is inherently less interesting that the story that came before it.
Sometimes simplicity is the best option for a movie, and this is where Inner Demon fails. Had it continued down the straight-and-narrow, this could have been one of the best films of the whole festival. But as such, the whole experience is rather muddied. You suddenly forget everything you loved about the first hour because the last 30 minutes is so bonkers and frankly rubbish. With a bit more restraint, this could have been a winner.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.