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Demon Hunter (2017) Review

Familiar but well made Indie demon hunting movie.

Demon Hunter is a 2017 action adventure film about a detective who seeks the aid of a homicide suspect in rescuing his daughter from a demonic force.

Monsters exists. At least fantastical monsters that need their heads lopped off in movies do and the genre is packed with all kinds of sword-slashing heroes to do the job, from vampires to werewolves and everything in-between. Now comes Demon Hunter, a new film from Zoe Kavanagh, an often slick and stylish independent film that, despite its roots and production, is deadly serious, even as it can’t quite sustain what it intends.

Taryn (Niamh Hogan) is a young woman devastated by a tragedy in the her past when, seven years ago, her little sister Annabelle (Aisli Moran) was abducted, raped, and killed, which she feels responsible for. The killer was part of a demonic cult and so Taryn eventually joins a group of hunters to unearth the beasts stalking Dublin, soon becoming a vicious, sword-wielding monster killer herself who lives in the shadows, only looking for prey. One night though, after she slices off the head of one such alleged demon, she is arrested by police and comes to be questioned by Detective Beckett (Alan Talbot), the same cop who made an unfulfilled promise to her when Annabelle was killed. Now the two must come together to stop an evil that has kidnapped his own daughter, and cleanse the city of darkness.

Don’t be misled. Demon Hunter is decidedly low-budget and certainly lacking in high grade performances but what it does have is energy and a surprisingly engaging, if not familiar story. Kavanagh’s direction (This is her feature length debut) is the film’s strongest attribute. This is a good looking movie and she keeps a fast pace even as the budget clearly reduces what she aims for. That’s further held back by a few key flat characters and bits of awkward delivery from some untrained actors.

Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter, 2017 © Constant Motion Pictures

However, there is a lot that’s good here, with Hogan well-cast as the troubled hunter. She’s got a great backstory, and while the story echoes a few other already iconic movies, Taryn is an interesting character that, given better opportunities, could make for a franchise builder. Demon Hunter doesn’t sink into self-parody or goofy self-awareness or camp, rather sticking as much to authenticity as the premise allows, which serves the movie well. Taryn is kinda cool.

Demon Hunter does a lot with what limited funds it has, boosted by Luca Rocchini‘s excellent cinematography and a pulsing soundtrack. While there are some editing issues and occasional audio problems where that soundtrack overpowers the dialogue, for fans of the genre and Indie films in general, this is a pretty solid contribution.

Demon Hunter (2017) Review

Movie description: Demon Hunter is a 2017 action adventure film about a detective who seeks the aid of a homicide suspect in rescuing his daughter from a demonic force.

Director(s): Zoe Kavanagh

Actor(s): Niamh Hogan, Alan Talbot, Sarah Tapes Jenkinson

Genre: Action

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