Appellate Judge Tom Becker's been uninvited to better demonic parties than this.
Murderous wood nymphs and cowboys! Is there a parade coming through?
Mill Creek usually turns out sets of second or third tier TV shows (Booker: Collector's Edition), TV compilations (Game Show Moments Gone Bananas), and movie compilations that look like they've been dredged from the public domain vaults (Cult Terror Cinema: 12-Movie Collection, Drive-In Cult Classics: 32-Movie Collection). In a slight change of pace, Mill Creek is offering up a pair of relatively recent ho-hum horror films in glorious Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, the two films offered here, Demonic and Uninvited, barely warrant a home video release at all, much less a release on the much-ballyhooed Blu format.
Only the brave would dare to awaken the guardian of the dead!
In the blink of an eye, the madness begins!
Each of these films is a confused mess, and only one comes close to delivering anything resembling satisfying horror. The lesser film is Uninvited, which is just a weird yet tedious western romp with a few killings and some mumbo-jumbo involving a Native American curse, or something. It's really just a bunch of annoying characters fighting about gold nuggets and occasionally dying in mysterious and sometimes graphic ways. If you make it to the end of this Bonanza meets One Step Beyond oat-meller—and I can't imagine why you'd bother—you'll find the sort of "ambiguous" wrap-up that usually means the writer didn't know what the hell was going on either.
Marginally better is Demonic (a.k.a. Forest of the Damned), which features a slightly more cohesive story, lots of nekkid ex-angel nymphs, and some good gore effects from the great Tom Savini. Unfortunately, Savini also shows his not-so-great side by taking a role here, a real "keep your day job" performance as the gatekeeper, crazed woods-dwelling guy. All wild-eyed lunacy, it's never really clear how the American Savini wound up in this British forest or exactly what his character's purpose is, and his screen time really bogs this down, as do the various other character-directed subplots. Like Uninvited, there's no clear through-line here, and while Demonic does offer up a reasonable amount of grue and some suspense, it just never really comes together.
Neither of these is an all-out terrible movie, and in a way that's a shame, because they're also not bad enough to be guilty pleasures. Oh, they're still bad, just not good bad. Save for the R-rated scenes of occasional nudity and violence, these are pretty much made-for-basic-cable offerings.
Mill Creek puts the DVD back in Blu-ray with this marginal release. Neither film looks good on Blu, with the same sort of damage and softness you'd find on a standard release. Audio for both films is an old-time Dolby stereo mix. Supplements? You want supplements? Move along, Cowboy, 'cause you ain't gonna find 'em here.
Two uninspired, half-baked fright flicks and a lousy Blu-ray package.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice, Uninvited
Perp Profile, Uninvited
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Distinguishing Marks, Uninvited
Scales of Justice, Demonic
Perp Profile, Demonic
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Distinguishing Marks, Demonic
Review content copyright © 2010 Tom Becker; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.