By: John Allen
Ever since The Blair Witch Project, film-makers have been fascinated with the concept of found footage movies, so much so that it has become its own horror trope and genre. If the producers of such films get lucky enough they can reap the benefits of a series of movies that does not require a big name actor, or a lot of high production values. They don’t require costly sets; even the crew can be minimal, and the producer rakes in a reasonable amount of bank. In order to be successful, like the Paranormal Activity series, this particular sub-genre requires good direction, natural and believable acting, and a good story.
In E-Demon, four former college friends gather together for a web cam chat. They rehash their memories of that glorious time by reminiscing in pranks they dubbed “Freak Outs” where they each tried to freak out the others with ghoulish hoaxes. Soon enough though, we realize that one of these pranks is definitely not like the others, and as they continue to watch, mysterious acts of violence break out in each others homes, sometimes with deadly results, but is it all one big elaborate freak out, or is there an evil force,unleashed from a witches box, at play?
The acting in E-Demon is actually good. The camera work is great, and the director creates a realistic mood. It clips along at a steady pace. Its a cool project. I am not usually a fan of found footage films, but E-Demon grabbed me and kept me riveted to the end. Its not exactly Shakespeare nor is it perfect but Writer/Director Jeremy Wechter knows what he is doing with this genre. He refrains from making it too shaky, which was an issue that plagued the Blair Witch Project. There are moments where he tires to make the videos seem as real and natural as possible, with computer glitches and feed pauses, however too much of this can be irritating, especially when you want to see what is going on. This however is a minor criticism in what is an otherwise excellent story. I commend all involved with E-Demon for producing something that is entertaining especially if you enjoy this kind of story telling. This is what I have been trying to get across in other reviews, your movie does not have to be an Oscar winning piece, but it has to draw in the audience, keep us entertained, be well acted, have a good story and production values. E-Demon succeeds on all of these points.
4 out of 5 witch boxes
Releasing 9/14 theatrically in Los Angeles and 9/21 in New York theaters.
The film will also be available on VOD.