Underground Film Journal

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Horror Feature Film Online: Demons Among Us

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 6, 2012

Something very nasty is happening in a remote Australian town in Stuart Simpson‘s first feature film, Demons Among Us. Seemingly normal residents are turning into fang-mouthed, blood-thirsty devils. Literally! Can the new guy in town, Joe (Nathaniel Kiwi), prevent the carnage from spreading — or, at least just not get blamed for the multiple murders?

As a first feature, Demons Among Us has a less cohesive structure than Simpson’s follow up, El Monstro Del Mar!. However, it’s that gritty inventiveness that makes Demons Among Us so very appealing. So, saying that the film strongly favors style, in the form of creative digital manipulation of the images, over substance isn’t a criticism. Simpson’s style works strongly in the film’s favor by keeping the action continually moving at a rapid clip.

Woman has her hands nailed to a tree

And that’s not to say Simpson doesn’t inject a little messaging behind the madness. He just leaves his points oblique and undefined. The loose anti-consumerist foreshadowing in the opening scenes doesn’t quite follow develop along with the action like in David Cronenberg’s media screed Videodrome.

But, again, that doesn’t detract from the film’s fun and inventiveness. When more and more demons start popping up and eviscerating the human population, Simpson seems to know that perhaps it’s best not to stop their grisly rampage with dull exposition scenes. There’s just enough character details combined with miscommunication and misunderstanding that elaborating on the logic of it all, rather than concentrating on the action and gore, would have made the film less appealing, not more.

For all of Demons Among Us messiness, Simpson would go for a much slicker, more focused style with his follow-up monster movie El Monstro Del Mar!, which is nice to see a genre filmmaker mix up his approach in his first two films rather than allowing a specific style to define him.

Demons Among Us has been released online for free viewing on YouTube by its distributor Troma, which, over the past several weeks, has been uploading a large portion of its library. There’s lots more great genre feature films on the Troma Movies YouTube channel right now.