It’s a trio of indie films with varying degrees of chills, thrills, and kills. Let’s take a brief look at A Dark Path, The Evil Rises, and Demons Inside Me.
A DARK PATH (2020)
If you need a little backwoods creature feature fix, this one runs 74 minutes long, so it may just be what you’re looking for. However, it is a slow burn, with the first creature appearance not until about 54 minutes in.
Two girls head for the airport after a party in Europe. Their car doesn’t have GPS, they end up on a desolate road at night, the car breaks down, and then they proceed to do every stupid thing you possibly can. Look, I really liked these two characters, but how the hell do you end up getting separated when there are only two of you lost in the woods in a car at night?
The girl who didn’t disappear (according to the perspective the movie forces us into) goes out with her handy video camera to look for the other girl. It’s not totally a found footage film, but there is some camera POV, especially once the monster finally appears.
Characters continue to do stupid things, but the creature moments are pretty thrilling. However, unless there’s a sequel, the ending will piss you off.
THE EVIL RISES (2018)
I liked the basic cheesy, low budget aspects of this film, but what didn’t work for me is the film’s attempt to tackle a larger demon legend/mythos that really would have needed a bigger budget to pull off convincingly.
A group of friends partying on the beach finds a mysterious old statue in the sand, and within minutes it’s causing them to turn on each other like ravenous zombies.
A hologram of some dime store demon appears and tells them they shall be his minions and harvest blood for him.
Sooooo…the group throws a party where they lure guests in and then kill them in bloody ways. At the same time, a detective, a priest, and a pizza boy are out to stop them.
This is the premise I could work with. It’s all the backstory about the demon that dragged it down for me.
DEMONS INSIDE ME (2019)
A short film running about 75 minutes long, this one has a lot going for it, but be warned—it keeps your head swirling with a non-chronological presentation of events, like starting at the end, a narrative approach I don’t love due to its spoiler elements.
There are also a myriad of unlikable characters discussing disjointed issues, but I’m not complaining about all the shirtless dudes that weren’t required to have flawless physiques.
A young woman is dumped by a douchebag while they’re hanging out with a bunch of other douchebags at a pool in Costa Rica. She has no means of transportation, so she’s stuck there while everyone else at the party begins getting dragged into the jungle by humanoid creatures that often look like possessed, tribal natives in natural camouflage.
The title is another spoiler, because the point of the film seems to be that the main girl’s inner demons have manifested as real to get revenge while she’s chilling in a bathtub tripping on acid and speaking to someone who isn’t really there.
Is everything she’s witnessing all in her head? Is she actually the killer? We’ll never know, but if you like loopy, psychological horror narrative arcs like this (think High Tension), you may really enjoy this one. After all, there are plenty of kills, freaks in the jungle, gory effects, chase scenes, jump scares, and some good suspense.