Frightfest presents, Sorry About the Demon, coming soon to Shudder.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade or in the case of Will (Jon Michael Simpson), why not make a lemon drizzle cake? Will’s life is a series of failures, from his job as a customer care advisor for a rubbish toothpaste brand to his home-baked goods that nobody eats and a crumbling relationship with Amy (Paige Evans). But despite being offered lemons, Will is a chirpy soul who never really escaped the trappings of his teenage self with a relentless belief that everything will turn out fine.
However, when Amy finally walks out on him, his optimism takes a severe dent as he finds himself in need of a new crib, luckily, a local family is leaving their sprawling gothic house in a hurry, and the rent is strangely affordable. Once there, Will can find a way back into Amy’s heart while also baking more cakes and getting into shape for Amy’s return.
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Unfortunately, what looked too good to be true, is just that. As Will moves in, he is unaware the family made a deal with the resident demon to provide it with a human sacrifice. But, with a kitchen full of cakes, a mission to get back with Amy at all costs and a relentless work schedule, the demon may have bitten off more than it can chew. However, that doesn’t stop Will from recruiting his best mate Patrick (Jeff McQuilty) and his work colleague Aimee (Olivia Ducayen) in an attempt to cleanse the house and close the gateway to hell.
There’s a lot to love in writer-director Emily Hagins’ quirky mix of Amityville, The Conjuring, High Spirits and Burying the Ex. Here Hagins wraps us in the delightful eccentricities of Will’s world, ensuring the ghosts and demons play second fiddle to the woes of the man-child at the heart of the picture. As a result, Sorry About the Demon rides on the central performance of Jon Michael Simpson, and he doesn’t disappoint with impeccable comic timing and loveable energy that carries the story from the first scene to the last.
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Equally impressive is Hagins’ delightful screenplay and direction. Here Hagins keeps things light while embracing a series of classic horror tropes, ensuring Sorry About the Demon appeals to a cross-section of viewers, from ardent horror fans to those looking for a light and fluffy comedy. The result is a perfect date night horror comedy that oozes charm. However, with a runtime of one hour and forty-four minutes, Sorry About the Demon runs out of steam slightly and would have benefitted from a few tweaks to bring it down to a classic one hour and thirty to maintain its pace and humour. However, that’s a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things, in a picture that wears its heart on its sleeve while delightfully playing with classic haunted house and demonic possession tropes.
Sorry About the Demon’s engaging mix of styles may not appeal to those seeking a head-turning vomit-inducing demonic tale. But Hagins’ light and fluffy creation is a delightful addition to the horror-comedy genre, and it will find a legion of fans when it arrives on Shudder later this year. So whip out the crucifix and bless the bottled water for a devilishly fun rollercoaster ride as Will and his friends venture to the edge of hell with a walkman, toothpaste and a whole host of baked products.
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Hagins’ delicious, light and fluffy creation is a delightful addition to the horror-comedy genre, and it will find a legion of fans when it arrives on Shudder later this year.