DIRECT TO STREAM: the demons of Ursula Dabrowsky

These two films from writer/director Ursula Dabrowsky both have “demon” in the title, but they are not related in any way. They’re also not cookie cutter horror films, so if you like something with a unique narrative, you might want to check these two out.

FAMILY DEMONS (2009)

In the end, Family Demons is a film about child abuse and alcoholism, but I’ve seen it criticized as not being a horror film, which is just one of the infinite number of stupid things people say on the internet. It is totally framed within the context of a horror premise and only horror fans could appreciate what goes on. So yes, it’s a horror movie.

A teen girl abused by her drunken mother (and her sleazy boyfriend) eventually fights back, landing her mother in the hospital. Back home alone, she’s horrified to find that she is soon being somehow terrorized by her mother once more.

It takes a while for the ghostly aspect to begin, but once it does, it has some eerie and effective moments. It does become a bit of a one trick pony though; the same effective styles are overused. For instance: close-up of main girl’s face with focus on her eyes darting to the side as mother’s form passes in the background.

There are some very odd moments near the end—like the girl running from the house, hiding behind a random bush for a moment, then walking back home—but the final twist and how it ties into the themes of the film is pretty good.

It’s way better than most first efforts of horror directors, and I imagine Ursula herself would see the issues when watching it back now that she’s made another film.

INNER DEMON (2014)

The title clues you in to what this film is eventually about, but it’s at least a different take on what someone does with their “inner demon”, and it’s most definitely not your usual horror film plot.

A teen girl is babysitting when a couple breaks into the house and abducts her. She manages to escape them on a deserted road and finds a house to hide in…which turns out to be their home.

That long, suspenseful opening act definitely draws you in. What happens next keeps you watching, but your attention might soon begin to wander. The main girl spends a while lot of time hidden in a closet listening to the couple and watching them through a crack.

In fact, even when it’s time to fight back in the third act, she doesn’t leave the closet. Something supernatural steps in to take care of things.

I can’t say that it totally makes sense, and what really transpires might be up for interpretation. It’s also not exactly terrifying, although it does give you a film with a twist to think about.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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