Neill Blomkamp hasn’t released a directorial feature in the six years since “Chappie” flopped with film critics. The negative press around “Chappie” was a far cry from Blomkamp’s 2009 feature directorial debut “District 9,” a critical sensation that grossed $210 million worldwide and earned four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Neill Blomkamp and co-writer Terri Tatchell. The Oscar nominee went on to helm “Elysium” and “Chappie,” but neither could match the critical highs of his debut. Now comes “Demonic,” a smaller scale Blomkamp effort made during the pandemic and starring Carly Pope, Chris William Martin, and Michael Rogers.
The brief official synopsis for “Demonic” from IFC Midnight reads: “A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades old rift between mother and daughter are revealed.”
“The main character is a girl who’s been estranged from her mother,” Blomkamp told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year about his new movie. “During the course of the film she gets sort of reunited with her mother and we learn about some crazy back story that she wasn’t aware of. I would say it has a crossover between science fiction and horror.”
Similar to fellow horror filmmaker Ben Wheatley and “In the Earth,” Blomkamp decided to tackle a low budget horror movie when the pandemic shut down a larger scale project last year. The director added, “Living out here in this slightly more rural area I was thinking we should self-finance something so that we could make something cool. For a long time, I’ve been really interested in films like ‘Paranormal Activity’ and lower budget stuff that is pretty terrifying, and so we just started working on this concept. It grew and it got bigger than films like ‘Paranormal Activity’ but it was cut from the same cloth really. So that’s what it is. We made use out of a lot of the locations out here and just shot it through the summer.”
IFC Midnight is releasing “Demonic” in theaters, on demand, and via digital platforms August 20. Watch the first official trailer for the supernatural horror movie below.
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