A work of animated art and horror nostalgia tribute, Attack of the Demons is a remarkable film about demons rising in small town Colorado, and the three friends who confront them.
Attack of the Demons is a remarkable animated horror film about demons rising in small-town Colorado and the three friends who confront them.
The town of Barrington is hosting a Battle of the Bands festival, and Natalie (Katie Maguire) is on her way, hoping to see a favorite band, Teak. Jeff (Andreas Petersen, who also wrote the script) is also heading there, but when he arrives, finds himself more interested in the arcade games. Kevin (Thomas Petersen) has always lived in Barrington but isn’t really bothered by the music, much more interested in “classic” horror flicks shown at the arthouse cinema, such as The Grotesque Mirror. It’s a lucky fluke that none of these three is caught in the crossfire when a curse turns the festival audience – and others – into Argento-style demons.
If that sounds reminiscent of 80s video nasties, yes, it is (though set in 1994). Eric Power directed and animated Attack of the Demons over a ten year period, and you can see, hear and virtually smell the genre love in this work. Animated horror doesn’t arise very often, and when it does, it seems to be largely either for children or – the opposite – semi-pornographic. This one is neither, ideal for a market of adult horror fans who enjoy their films sober, yet remember fondly what they watched at an earlier age.
The main characters are down-to-Earth regular folks (you know, like everyone in The Evil Dead) and the supernatural nasties are, well, not. They transform from the body of the weird chanting guy who rudely comes on stage after the headline act. From there, a demonic influence takes over people (and occasionally animals), turning them violent, pulling them apart, and melding them together. Although this sounds pretty intense, none of the gore is explicit as such, and I’d be perfectly happy letting my thirteen-year-old watch.
And it’s all made entirely from craft paper! The texture, colors, and backgrounds are all rich and deep; very well chosen, and beautifully assembled. Some have likened the style to early South Park, but that’s too easy a comparison: Power has most certainly drawn from Raimi’s and Fulci’s film influences and presented their style with his own hand.
As a viewer, I was captivated at first by watching the paper shapes, then gradually I found I was looking past those into the world of Attack of the Demons. I felt the characters’ loneliness and admired their heroism, I cheered when they survived and laughed when they joked about how pathetic they felt. It probably helped that the nineties dive-bar environment was reproduced accurately and with more than a little: the film took me right back to a place I used to go.
Available on VOD and DVD soon, Attack of the Demons is one to watch out for if you like nostalgia, or arts and crafts.
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