While working to restore his home, Piotr discovers some old bones that clearly were never meant to be found. The following day, which just so happens to be his wedding day, Piotr slowly becomes possessed by an unseen spirit — a dybbuk from Jewish mythology — one that clings to him until it gets what it wants.
Demon is a study in quiet horror. From its ominous opening scene up until the eerie end, there is an insurmountable tension that simply cannot — and will not — be shaken. The film doesn’t need copious amounts of blood and guts and carnage, the horrors lay hidden within the Polish countryside, the morning fog rolling down the hills, and buried in the ruins of the old house, from the crumbling foundation to the age-worn stone walls; the bleak landscape and dilapidated set pieces are like characters within themselves. Add to that some spot on cinematography, and you’ve got yourself a creepy-looking movie.
The acting is certainly up to snuff, with most of the feature relying on Itay Tiran. He delivers a solid performance as Piotr, one that results in a captivating mix of fragility and fear. He uses the sets to their full potential, which also benefits the direction. It goes from calm and steady, to chaotic and suffocating within a matter of moments, and never loses its edge.
This is a thinking-person’s film. Once the credits come on, you can’t quite shake what you’ve seen. Demon is brooding, dark, and quietly terrifying.
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