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A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.

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Demon movie full length review - Creepy psychological drama from Poland

"Demon" (2015 release from Poland; 94 min.) brings the story of Peter, an English guy who is about to marry his Polish fiancée.

As the movie opens, we see Peter arriving at a construction site, and in conversation with his future father-in-law, who expresses doubt about the upcoming marriage, given the apparent short courtship between his daughter Zaneta and Peter. But the wedding plans are on. Later that day, Peter arrives at the countryside home of Zaneta's family, which is in dire need for some fixing up. When Peter does some cleaning up in the yard, he comes across the remains of a skeleton, and before we know it, strange things start happening. At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is perhaps billed as a horror movie, but it really isn't. It really is more of a psychological thriller, rooted deeply in Polish family traditions. Much of the movie plays out over the course of the long wedding night (ceremony, followed by the wedding reception, dinner, and post-dinner celebration). I noticed in the movie's credits that it is in fact based on a theater play, and the movie certainly reflects that (and that is not meant as a criticism). Rather than a horror story, you instead get the constant feeling that something creepy is going on. There are a number of worthwhile performances, including Israeli actor Itay Tiran as Peter/Piotr and Andrzej Grabowski as the patriarch of Zaneta's family. Given the nature of the film, I don't want to disclose much more, but I can only tell you that I became transfixed as this played out, and couldn't hardly believe it how quickly this all went by.

The movie premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, yes, over a year ago. (Sadly, the movie's director Marcin Wrona took his own life not long thereafter.) It opened without any pre-release fanfare or advertising at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at was attended poorly, just a handful of people. Given the lack of marketing, it didn't really surprise me. If you are in the mood for a creepy (in the best possible way) and haunting psychological drama, I'd readily recommend you check this out, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.