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DEMON HOUSE (2018)
Directed by Zak Bagans
Written by Zak Bagans
Starring Zak Bagans, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley
The “Come At Me Bro” paranormal investigators from Travel Channel’s GHOST ADVENTURES have put together a documentary focusing on an investigation that was bigger than a typical one hour TV show. A house in Gary, Indiana is said to house more than 200 demons. Recent reports from news stations about paranormal events and a few exorcisms that occurred in the home sparked the host investigator Zak Bagans’ interest. He bought the house, sight unseen and proceeded to investigate it and record his findings. What comes next are this the innards of this documentary.
The documentary spends most of its like most paranormal investigator shows do with interviews with the people surrounding the house’s history, showing archived police footage, and reenacting events that are claimed to have occurred inside the home as well as followed those possessed with supposed demons outside of the home. Instances such as a child walking up a wall in a hospital and other children chanting in a devilish voice are cited. The investigation also follows the paranormal team who themselves experience some strange things happening to their own psyches while investigating the house. It all ends with Zak barricading himself in the house for a night and experiencing some apparent spooky happenings himself.
While the film builds a compelling case, it also does a lot to disprove anything other than peacocking for the camera is going on. Everyone approached to talk with Zak and his crew ask to be paid for their participation. Not surprising giving the impoverished neighborhood in which the house resides. Once some green is shown, it seems everyone has a story about the spooky house. There is even a revelation that a major studio is courting the family for a big budget retelling of their story, which is the real reason the family can’t talk with this smaller budgeted documentary crew. All of this again, makes it all seem like playing to the camera for fifteen minutes of fame rather than actual paranormal happenings.
It is also difficult to take Zak and his crew seriously as they act the same way they do on the show and taunt the demons by flexing their glamour muscles and screaming “Is that all you got?” into the shadows—which I find as equally laughable and annoying as the “What the hell is that?” catch-phrase of ScyFy’s GHOST HUNTERS. It’s hard taking the situation seriously when these clonks are so cartoonish in the face of evil as if the ghost had talked with their girlfriends at the club.
The reenactments are solid. Zak is not a bad director and despite the jabroni-ing around, he does manage to actually convey a certain sense of doom. In the end, only some small EMV’s and maybe a shadow is captured, which is hardly worth extending into a feature length film. Still, I can’t help but love these guys as they try to be mystical, yet in a masculine way that shows off their tats and biceps. I don’t know if there is actually 200 demons in this home or if there are any at all. The tagline at the top of the film suggests that simply watching the film subjects the viewer to demonic possession themselves. In the end, this is all just a typical episode of the series. It doesn’t crack open the world of the paranormal and it all wraps up a bit too cleanly, stating odd and tragic events have occurred to everyone working on the film after it wrapped—though some mighty leaps are made to prove it and most of them can be attributed to poor life choices rather than the paranormal. Fans of the show know what to expect and most likely will be entertained and thrilled to see the investigation stretched to feature length. Center stage, as with all GHOST ADVENTURES is Zak and his strutting crew, so no matter how much backstory, research, or happenstantial evidence is collected, you know it’ll be somewhat entertaining…just not in the way the filmmakers intended it to be, I imagine.
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Love Ghost Adventures, but this was a big swing and a miss. Living in Chicago- I took a drive out to see the place once I heard Zak bought it.. I was so anticipating this film. Its a shame that he really brought nothing to the house. No Spirit box, no EVP sessions, no Aaron Goodwin! First half was a complete waste.