For Reel

Demon (2015)
January 3, 2017, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Marcin Wrona
3.5 Stars
demonDemon is an unsettling film about denial and avoidance, with its characters ignoring both immediate and long-festering problems for the sake of saving face. The centerpiece of the picture finds Piotr (Itay Tiran), a laborer who has newly returned to his native Poland, becoming possessed by a dybbuk at his wedding ceremony. As his behavior becomes increasingly erratic and he begins to convulse and strip down in what appears to be an epileptic fit, his future in-laws try desperately to keep the guests happy (and drunk) while lamenting the man that they brought into the family. While Demon is rooted in the psychological horror genre, it is the satirical elements that resonate most deeply—as the wedding hosts procure more bottles of vodka and ask the wedding band to play louder in order to cover up the noises of the possessed groom, director Marcin Wrona both teases the desperation of a forced social gathering (where the objective is to have fun at all costs) and remarks on the hypocrisy and perhaps impossibility of celebrating when the sins of the past are far from buried. When the bride’s father bemoans that, “The whole country’s built on corpses”, Wrona maintains a mutual interest in the personal demons that haunt the story while broadening his scope to encompass the political, arguing that all a country can do in the aftermath of atrocities is to beg the band to stay for another song.