Jeremy Wechter will be making his feature length writing and directing debut with Dark Cuts Entertainment to bring you e-Demon, starring Christopher Daftsios, Ryan Redebaugh, John Anthony Wylliams and Julia Kelly. The movie will be released theatrically and digitally September 14.
The demon responsible for some of the worst eras of persecution has been released onto the internet, making it possible to possess thousands all at once. This film is a recording of the night it was set free during a group chat with four college friends. As the alums share stories of their old college days, an evil force begins to not only consume them, but hundreds and thousands of others. How do you stop something that can claim you with only a look?
What e-Demon is would be categorized into the “found footage” style of film-making that many horror movies have become fond of. It can be a divisive format, but nothing is more horrifying than the possible, which is what this movie goes for. Wechter and his core cast certainly flex their chops in the film, especially considering it is basically all shot in one set, performing the story as if in a play than in a standard film shoot. Since it is also a group chat, your point-of-view is always at a computer screen, meaning that when shooting the actors were most likely having to convey everything to a tiny camera, pretty much by themselves except maybe for the director. I rapidly questioned how the audience’s computer “screen” knew when to change focus if this was a recording of the evening in question, but let’s just blame it on the demons for the moment. That does cause confusion, though, when it becomes a more hectic scene and it is obvious none of the actors are typing, even if the clicking of keys is heard and the characters are messaging each other.
Another problem with this computer screen format is that there is so much distraction. As soon as things get moving, you have at least 4 people talking over each other as people log on, say helo, and settle in for the convo. The windows are also never maximized, which becoming a little frustrating. Once the action gets going, you want the picture as big as possible, right? At one point the action window is not only shrunk, but cut nearly in half, so there can be even more websites to be posted up. If you want the audience to be reading that screen, they won’t. They are not going to. Not even if you leave it there for several minutes.
The multi-screen balance isn’t the only issue I had, though. Plot holes definitely rear their ugly head in e-Demon. As I mentioned before it really doesn’t look like anyone is typing, or even really reacting to what is being typed at them. I also mentioned that it is strange that the windows know just when to maximize and minimize. But one character is dropped and never nor discussed again, and according to the film’s prologue this is about quad murders. They way I see it, this movie commits a cardinal sin; it cuts us of a kill. There are plenty of kills to go around, way over four, by the way, (so why are they called quad murders?) but one of the main characters who plays heavily into the plot just disappears halfway through. It’s more than clear he was affected by the possession, so what happened? At least a nod back to him at the end would have been nice. A few other characters face similar fates, Mar’s sister, for instance, but ultimately it is the disappearance of this one main character that really rubs you wrong.
As flawed as it is, the plot itself is really fun and I think e-Demon is almost successful. The performances of everyone involved are well-realized and fluid, the dialogue easy and definitely with the tone of friends catching up. Wechter’s got a great plan here, just patch up the ship and gives us more of the performances and not the unnecessary chatting that never convinces the characters. We get this is being shown on a computer, you can let it go eventually. Nothing on the sides really helps the story, instead it detracts. I would love to have seen this possibly recut without all the sideline graphics and a few bandaids over the plot holes. All in all, the story is worth the watch, just be ready to split your focus.
E-Demon is available on VOD and DVD September 14th. Check out the trailer below: