Review: Demons Never Die (15) / Director: Arjun Rose / Screenplay: Arjun Rose / Starring: Ashley Walters, Tulisa Constavlos, Robert Sheehan, Reggie Yates, Emma Rigby / Release Date: Out Now
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Demons Never Die is very much a worst of times sort of a film. Just so you know, the ‘Demons’ in the title doesn’t apply to some kind of otherworldly beastie that plagues the youths of this film. No, these demons relate to depression and how it’s always there because da yoof got it hard innit. Yep, if I had no access to blackberry messenger or if Justin Bieber died horribly I would feel like ending it all too, which is a feeling also shared whilst watching this film. Between this and The Fades, I’m thinking of having a vasectomy because the child will eventually grow into one of these teenage things.
The film starts promisingly as Tulisa Theodopolopoulos or whatever her name is from X-Factor and N-Dubz gets killed after being all mopey. The murder is thought to be a suicide by the police and the teens in a London school are called into an assembly to be told the bad news. Ashley Walters from So Solid Crew, portraying the least convincing policeman ever, addresses the kids. At this point, after about the fourth slow motion scene of teens moping about against urban tunez on the soundtrack, it becomes clear what this film is meant to be. We are introduced to a group of youngsters who would never actually talk to each other in real life and they make some kind of suicide pact because their lives are so hard. One of them, a former Hollyoaks actress, is a model and has an eating disorder. One is a mouthy git, another is a hopeless romantic, another is fat and so on. The point is none of these kids are likeable in the slightest and the sooner they die the better. Things pick up slightly after some gratuitous sex and then the suicide pact group start being murdered by some twat in a hoodie who was last seen at the London riots last August. Bafflingly, the teens who wanted to die start begging for the lives just before they get killed. Eventually the killer is revealed to be the one you figured out it was in the first ten minutes.
As you might have gathered, I’m not the target audience for this film, but awful is awful. I’ve always felt that two of the most important ingredients for a horror film are 1) make your characters likeable and 2) if you can’t do this then make your kills inventive. Sadly, Demons Never Die can’t even fulfil one of these rules. The kids are awful, all self-obsessed and loud, and the deaths are so generic and boring that they make a PG film like The Adventures of Tintin seem like the latest Final Destination. Worst of all, the most irresponsible aspect of the film is the fetishist way it portrays knives. The killer in a hoodie gets his uber shiny blade out and waves it around in slow motion looking all cool. Considering the way the world is right now and the events of last year, this is fairly tasteless.
In fairness, director Arjun Rose can compose a shot and match it to music, which he does ad nauseam. However, Rose probably needs a better story to highlight his talent. Demons Never Die is lowest common denominator entertainment designed to appeal to your most base of teenagers. Avoid this one the way you would avoid a hoodie coming down the road towards you.