THE DEMON’S ROOK (2013)
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In many ways James Sizemore’s supernatural horror is quite an impressive low budget flick with heaps of imagination and some really great and abundant prosthetic FX. The story finds an imaginative young boy named Roscoe (Emmett Eckert) who constantly draws a demon named Dimwos (John Chatham) and claims the being visits him. No one takes him seriously, until one night the demon kills the boy’s parents and lures the lad into his underground lair to be his student and eventual successor. Years later, an adult Roscoe (James Sizemore) escapes from Dimwos and unintentionally releases three far more malevolent demons in the process. Returning to his home, Roscoe seeks out his childhood friend Eva (Ashleigh Jo Sizemore) for help, while the demons pursue him slaughtering any human they come across.
Sizemore does make an impression here with the film he directs from a script co-written with Akom Tidwell. While the flick is never scary, it is imaginative with it’s story and execution. Seizmore has a good eye for spooky visuals, accented by some atmospheric cinematography by Tim Reis, and the design of the creatures and settings is original and effective for a low budget crowd-sourced film. The prosthetic make-up is truly remarkable with it’s demonic entities, legion of zombies and abundance of extremely gory demises. In an age of filmmakers all too eager to go CGI, this is a refreshing throwback to the 80s style of filmmaking complete with a very 80s transformation scene from human to demonic creature. There are also a bevy of good looking ladies, some who don’t mind shedding their clothes, to add some old fashion titillation to the proceedings. Where this valiant effort stumbles, is that after about an hour, the carnage wears out it’s welcome a bit. The story never really goes anywhere and there is at least a half hour that feels like filler with a parade of bloody sequences of the demons happening upon hapless locals to slaughter. It gets tedious after a while and the film seems to be just spinning it’s wheels to pad the flick out to feature length, till we get the the climactic confrontation between Roscoe, Eva and the demons…and then it’s over a little too quickly. After 90 minutes of gory dismemberment and disembowelment, you expected a little more out of the battle between Roscoe and his foes. On a technical level,the filmmakers did a good job with meager funding and the acting may be unremarkable, with the parts acted out by the filmmakers themselves and a bunch of unknowns, but is adequate enough to get the job done.
In conclusion this is a very impressive low budget flick with some really well-done prosthetic make-up and gore. It has a nice visual style to add to the carnage and the filmmakers definitely put their hearts into it. If the film has any weak points it’s that the story isn’t enough to support it’s over 90 minute running time and the bloody sequences start to get repetitive and give the impression of filler to give the film a feature length. A nice effort, thought from James Sizemore and company.