Review: Sorry About the Demon (2022)

Review: Sorry About the Demon (2022)

Some of the Shudder original films have been hit or miss for me. For every one I love, there’s another I just bounce off hard. I’d say a lot of it is me just losing track of them, as it seems like one I like will be on the front page and then it disappears from my view. SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON was one I had wanted to watch but kept forgetting about until the writer/director herself–Emily Hagins–posted about how it is a Valentine’s Day movie so I decided February 14th was as good a time as any to mark it off my list.

I’m glad I did because it is great.

The movie opens with a family living in an old house. At 3:15 in the morning, their daughter is possessed by a demon named Deomonous and will be taken as a sacrifice. The parents make a deal to find someone else and the demon agrees to it. But who will they find to take their daughter’s place? Enter Will (Jon Michael Simpson), a young man with a penchant for taking on a lot of hobbies and not following them through and a dead-end job answering late night complaint calls for a toothpaste company. When he skips out on going to a celebratory dinner for his girlfriend Amy’s (Paige Evans) promotion, she gives him the boot. 

Fortunately for him, there’s a full house for rent at a steal of a price, rented by the family from the beginning. Will doesn’t think he needs a full house but is convinced to take it. At first everything is fine, but then he begins to notice strange things happening. It isn’t too long before he realizes he has ghosts as roommates. That puts a serious damper on his plan to get his life on track and finish a lot of the projects that he started, both as hobbies and for self-improvement. If he’s going to win his girlfriend back, first he’s got to get rid of the ghosts. Now Will, along with his friend Patrick and Patrick’s co-worker Aimee, have to cleanse the house of evil spirits or die trying. 

When they find out there is a demon lurking about too, that’s when all hell really breaks loose. 

I’ve said it before that horror comedies are tough to pull off as there is a balance you need to keep between the two. Some start off scary but then lean too much into the comedy, others do the opposite. Writer/director Hagins manages to walk that line perfectly, resulting in a movie that is free from any sudden tonal shifts, delivering jokes and scares on a consistent basis. 

I’m not familiar with any of the cast but they do a great job. Will is a bit of a schlub, but not so much you aren’t rooting for him, and for Amy you understand why she ended the relationship as she wants more out of Will and understands what he’s capable off if he consistently applied himself. Jeff McQuitty as Patrick is great as Will’s friend, who like Amy wants to see his friend succeed and not be defeated by his demons, personal or otherwise. I could definitely see a lot of myself in Will, as I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years. Most I’ve stuck with or finished a project but there are a few half-finished projects in some boxes in the basement I need to get back to. (Sorry, custom Hal Jordan Mighty Mugg. You’ll live again some day.)

The horror is on the milder side, which makes it appropriate for younger viewers too, which is good as I’m always on the hunt for movies I can share with my kid. I know some people hate it when every movie isn’t a hard R or worse with gore dripping from the walls, but I can appreciate the restraint and using what is best for the story. I feel you’d have to go for some broader gags to offset more blood so this helps for the more personal nature of the story.

I liked too that Will and Amy’s breakup wasn’t quite so clean or definitive. There is a chance that they could get back together but there needs to be some changes made in the relationship. Most of that work has to be done by Will, who slowly wakes up to the realization that he has to make a choice and decides what he wants to do with his life. Which is a pretty common story that people can relate to.

If you’re looking for a story with some scares, some humor and a few moments that will tug your heartstrings, SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON is well worth the watch. Check it out.