2.5 out of 10

Released: 28th October 2011

Director: Arjun Rose

Cast: Robert Sheehan, Ashley Walters, Jennie Jacques, Jason Maza, Femi Oyeniran, Jacob Anderson, Jack Doolan, Shanika Warren-Markland, Andrew Ellis, Emma Rigby, Patrick Baladi with Reggie Yates and Tulisa Contosavlos

Writer: Arjun Rose


For haters of the current crop of inner city dramas built for our disenfranchised youth, here come s a dream come true. A slasher flick!  So essentially imagine Kidulthood with a slasher on the loose eliminating your priss, your chav racist, your street thug, all diced and sliced for your delight.  Sadly this isn’t even a quarter of the fun it should have been.  The trouble with this is casting established faces of the said dramas like Jason Maza (TRUTH OR DARE), Ashley Walters (SKET) and Femi Oyeniran (ANUVAHOOD) amongst others.  It’s played extremely straight.  It reminds me of a very boring Brit-pic from the late 90s called Long Time Dead.  There is only some invention in the set-up as unconvincing as it is.  Eight or nine college kids have set up a “Suicide Club”.  They all meet together online and in person to discuss how they are all going to end their lives within a few weeks.  The trouble is someone is picking them off before they get a chance to do it themselves.  Lots of tepid red herrings raise their heads but this is one slow horror movie. I don’t think any of the victims so much as break into a run at anytime. Once the characters realise that they want to live they don’t actually act like they need to.  The acting is OK, standout is Jennie Jacques (SHANK), the closest we have here to a scream queen, she alone convinces. Jason Maza‘s  unhinged homocidal racist (is he the slasher?) is over the top in a utterly half-baked, badly written role as the club’s most committed member.  Ashley Walters and Reggie Yates (voice of RASTAMOUSE) are the sleepiest feds ever, even when they are performing.  An utter waste of time, you’ve been here fifty times before in equally lacklustre American films.  It’s competently shot, the score is made up of dope grime and dub step tunes but it doesn’t make the film all that creepy. You won’t be scared and the main positive point I can think of is that once the slasher’s identity is revealed, they don’t have a massive expositional monologue.  The motives aren’t even paid lip service and remain in the shadows.

Demons Never Die is utterly pedestrian. So dull even the usually good actors are on auto-pilot.  It’s a shame because originality isn’t always needed in horror. Just some idea of how to create a sense of fear and forboding would have been good. Think Kidulthood (which was good) meets Scream (which is classic) and fillet out all the wit and flare and you have Demons Never Die….

Oh yeah, on a side note – above the title star Tulisa (BIG FAT GYPSY GANGSTER) from grime stars N-Dubz is in the first five minutes. Another piece of advertising subterfuge. She puts in the only other good performance in the movie in the Drew Barrymore – Scream style-equivalent role.  Isn’t a leading role by Ashley Walters a big enough draw without selling this movie on a short cameo?  Maybe they knew this flick needed all the help it could get at the cinema.

2.5 out of 10 – Should be called Slashers Shouldn’t Be This Sleepy. A wasted opportunity. But nowhere near as bad as 90s Brit-Slasher Long Time Dead.

**READ JOE PESCI II’s funny review below!!** aka Reasons to avoid.>>! 


2 thoughts on “DEMONS NEVER DIE

  1. DEMONS NEVER DIE REVIEW – 27/11/12 By Matt Usher alias Joe Pesci II

    Great title. Alas, that’s as far as it goes. ‘Demons never die’ may or may not be a true statement, but it is academic as it’s not about demons, living or otherwise. Not even metaphorical ones, no matter what Ashley Walters says: the personal demons besetting our heroes feel like they’ve been picked out at random from the personal demon tombola (one’s pregnant, one’s bulimic, one’s gay etc etc). Or maybe that’s the point, their troubles are meant to be a bit rubbish; you never know with the youth of today. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying the above mentioned troubles are insignificant, merely that their treatment in this dismal film renders them all pathetic.)

    The set-up, as it so often is, is promising. A chatroom full of suicidal students. Here surely there is potential for either an interesting film about peer pressure, teenage angst, all that palaver, or a gleefully schlocky horror. What do we get? It looks like we’re heading for the latter, but it just never takes off, it just kind of dawdles about. So, our suicidal teenagers are being bumped off one by one, but no-one notices they’re being bumped off what with them being suicidal, though how anyone knows they’re suicidal is never explained as there are no suicide notes, blogs, Facebook farewells or whatever the suicidal young folk of today would use to broadcast the fact. So some of them get killed, which makes the others a bit sad, then they realise suicide isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and choose life (cue some sort of tedious uplifting montage). But the killer doesn’t stop. Eventually our suicide kids work out there’s a killer in their midst but killed. Apart from some of them who come up with a plan that would put Fred from Scooby Doo to shame.

    There is something fundamentally Absurdist in the plot construction: if someone is murdering suicides (and making these murders look like suicides) why would anyone doubt their veracity? Unless, perhaps, an eagle-eyed policeman spotted something amiss at the crime scene? But our two coppers (Reggie Yates and Ashley Walters; nice to see some non-white policemen in a film, shame they do no police work) are so slow they’d lose in a race against a snail and a tortoise (both in physical and mental terms). Just why are they hanging around? Unless…

    The youth of today! What have they done to deserve a film such as this? (Apart from listen to tinny music on their phones on buses – actually that’s more than justification in my view.) It’s just so atrociously average; it’s competently put together, reasonably acted, the script doesn’t have any howlers; the whole thing is just listless, lethargic, enervating. In fact the film is as disaffected and ‘whatever’ as its dull protagonists. The film actually is the disaffected youth it portrays! Unlike the film’s protagonists who find a reason to live (though I couldn’t see what that reason was), this film just shuffles drearily along until it kind of fizzles out, and then pays lip service to that most pointless of slasher movie gimmicks (it’s not even a spoiler if I tell you that the bad guy gets killed but opens his eyes in the last shot: yes, a sequel is possible!).

    Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but then I think I’m entitled to be, as, dear reader, I must admit the horrible truth: I was bamboozled! Yes, the killer was so obvious from about 5 minutes in that I quickly decided that it had to be someone else. For one thing, there would have been (and indeed is) no reason for this person to be in the film otherwise as he/she/it adds nothing to the proceedings, except for a corpse (his/her/its own). So instead of conforming to the Scooby-Doo Principle (innocent looking individual with one line who nobody notices) it is indeed the shiftiest looking person in the cast. So that was a waste of effort.

    The killer’s motives are rubbish. It’s worth explaining that he/she/it is killing for some sort of snuff website, and to this end has decided to go around causing as little commotion as possible by killing suicides. This doesn’t explain why his/her/its modus operandi changes for the finale where he/she (it’s a he, of course it’s a he) goes on a chopping expedition to the party where all the suicides (well, ex-suicides) have decided to go in order to celebrate not being dead. Oh irony. The further irony is that they’d originally intended to kill themselves there anyway. We never (unless I was asleep) quite find out how the killer knows who’s in the suicide club, nor do we find out whether he knows they’ve changed their minds. Nor do we care. I mean, it’s not even fun when he’s killing them! What sort of slasher film is this?

    Robert Sheehan is an attractive actor, who probably has the charisma to carry films, but he at no point convinces as a potential suicide, nor does the possibility that he might be the killer ever impress on one’s mind (not even when one character suggests it might be him because he’s a bit mysterious; nor even the bit when the film makes it look like it might be him because he walks in on his girlfriend seconds after she’s been attacked; or the bit when he breaks into her bedroom at dead of night). Jennie Jacques is the only person who seems to be awake and wipes the floor with the rest of the cast; this is all the more remarkable as she spends much of the time calling Jason Maza ‘a fucking dick’ or variations thereof (do the youth of today have no interesting insults? Has no-one ever watched HEATHERS – now there was a film which satirized the whole miserable child thing, had great insults, disguised murders as suicides, and had a bonkers plot). Maza is great fun as the unhinged one, but again, there is nothing about him that makes you think ‘it could be him’. The rest of the cast is asleep; maybe they thought they’d been hired to play zombies or something.

    To ‘liven’ things up every now and again we are treated to montages of quite unparalleled monotony and irrelevance providing something to look at whilst various hits of the day take over the soundtrack. Repetitive, boring, annoying, and Jessie J there’s a difference between singing and screaming. I had to turn the sound down, her screeching went right through me.I suppose it’s possible that I’m not the target audience for this film. Nevertheless, the target audience surely want something better than this? Maybe I’m wrong, in which case target audience please emulate your heroes because I refuse to sit through this sort of cinematic inertia ever again. Unless I’m called upon to review DEMONS NEVER DIE 2: BORED STIFF.

    Perhaps this moment encapsulates the whole film: in the climactic party sequence, our killer cuts the lights in order to go about murdering the ex-suicide clubbers. The party-goers, disappointed, leave the house en masse. Not because there’s a crazed killer on the loose, but because there’s been a power cut. Good god, the youth of today!

    2.5 out of 10

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