Attack of the Demons (2019) [Cinepocalypse 2019]

I have to say that I hate that I didn’t like “Attack of the Demons.” Throughout its merciful seventy five minute run time I anxiously tried to love it, and wanted to recommend it thirty times over. But by the end, while I appreciated its approach and concept, it’s really just a dull demonic thriller in the end. There might be a new way here to tall a story, but it’s by no means a novel take on the premise of a demon apocalypse by Eric Power.

Set in the year 1994, in a small Colorado town, three friends must use every skill their minds can fathom to stave off a legion of mutating demons that is overtaking their small community on Halloween night. The apocalyptic event has been planned for centuries by a secret cult, which seeks nothing less than the destruction of all humankind and the invocation of their demon god. Armed with their wits, and need for survival, they have to band together to figure out how to end the demon infestation, all with help of a mysterious sorcerer.

“Attack of the Demons” has the novelty of being animated by the use of cut-paper; it’s a method that “South Park” once practiced. Although it does use the technique of the iconic comedy series, “Attack of the Demons” is played with mostly a straight face, as it packs in a ton of dread and grit, not to mention loads of nods to classic demon cinema. Eric Power’s homemade indie horror film channeled a lot of the indie spirit and love that Frank Sudol’s horror series “City of Rott” had, and I enjoyed the inherent heart put behind every moment. “Atttack of the Demons” just feels tonally off and never quite strikes a chord as remotely creepy, nihilistic, or suspenseful.

The demons are well designed and the gore is plentiful but Power never allows them to be much more fleshed out. The trio of protagonists is never quite as interesting or attractive as the supporting characters, and that’s hindered by the often flat voice acting. The performances in the film are absolutely forgettable and Power never quite manages to raise their contribution to the film above anything more than indifferent readings of the script. “Attack of the Demons” has potential and a good idea behind it, but it’s fairly unspectacular, and a downright mediocre genre entry that never delivers anything new creatively. I’d recommend it mainly for morbidly experimental genre fans, only.

Cinepocalypse 2019 runs from June 13th until June 20th.