Demon Hunter film Review
Demon Hunter is a low budget debut feature film written and directed by Zoe Kavenagh and filmed in Dublin, Ireland. Deciding not to play it safe with its dark Gothic feel, it’s as much a character driven revenge drama, as it is an action movie. There is still a lot of fun to be had here, but this is not your typical switch off and enjoy your popcorn type of film.
Taryn Barker (Niamh Hogan) plays a demon hunter who is fuelled by revenge after the rape and murder of her 12-year-old sister. In her hunt for revenge she is blinded by anger and her thirst for revenge puts her in danger with a deadly demon cult intent on performing a possession. Saved by a group of demon hunters during the ritual, she incorporates some of the powers and a link with the demon Lord Falstaff (Michael Parle). Taryn joins the hunters who help to train her, because with her powers she alone can defeat Lord Falstaff
Hogan looks comfortable in the role, especially during the action scenes. I instantly draw a comparison with Sarah Michelle Geller from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), although Taryn is more ruthless. If there was anything I wanted more of in the film, it was Hogan performing action scenes. Those like the fight on the rooftop show just how stylish they can look, so it was shame we didn’t see more of these one-on-one combat situations.
The practical special effects in the film were well executed with the prosthetics on the demons looking impressive. Admittedly some of the CGI may not be perfect, but that is to be expected considering the budget, but it all adds to the fun. Although there is a dark tone, the film embraces the fact it is a low budget style by not taking itself too seriously. If some of the dialogue doesn’t make you smile, the exaggerated sound effects of the sword striking like a 70’s martial arts movie probably will.
The film is reminiscent of another cult British film Razorblade Smile (1998), which starred Eileen Daley as a vampire hunter. A low budget film, where the acting is a bit hit and miss, but the visual creativity with the camerawork, upbeat soundtrack and slick editing helped the film stand out despite the limitations of the budget.
Overall Demon Hunter looks great for the budget and I am sure it will gain a cult following. Kavenagh has shown some real talent for her directorial debut, so it will be interesting to see what she does next, especially if she is given the opportunity to work with a bigger budget.
Out on DVD in the UK & Ireland June 12 from Left Films.