Directed by Miles Doleac (The Dinner Party, Demons, The Hollow), who co-wrote it with Michael Donovan Horn. Demigod is a tense, eerie and supernatural twist on the Cernunnos myth.
Cernunnos (known as Dīs by Romans) was the name given to the ‘Horned God’ of Celtic mythology. He is interpreted as a god of fertility and hunting. In modern times, worship of Cernunnos in the Wicca religion has become popular.
It’s that aspect upon which Demigod bases its horror story upon.
Robin (Rachel Nichols) and her boyfriend Leo (Yohance Myles) have travelled to a remote cabin in Germany’s Black Forest. A cabin that was owned by Robin’s grandfather, who has since passed away. Isolated and peaceful, their reasons to travel here are flimsy and the two don’t quite have the chemistry you would hope for, even though both are solid actors.
Thankfully, time is given to get to know the characters, in particular Robin and her relationship with her grandfather.
One afternoon, they hear a gunshot nearby and come across Arthur (Miles Doleac) who is a local hunter. Out hunting with his young daughter, Amalia (Rachel Ryals), Arthur knew Robin’s grandfather and warns the pair about going out into the woods at night.
That hardly matters though as the horror that exists in the night isn’t waiting for victims to come, it’s going to get them.
Robin and Leo are captured by some sort of cult who tie them up deep in the woods alongside Arthur, Amalia and a few other people they captured. Why? So they can release them and watch as they are hunted by the lord they worship. The horned god.
Location is key here. Unlike many other woods-based horror, Demigod makes its location integral to the plot. An area where you get a strong sense of remoteness and the sense that it has been here a lot longer than we have and will remain once our bodies are nothing but dust.
In addition, during the day, it seems so peaceful and serene but at night, oppressive and haunting. This, combined with a solid and well-paced story, makes Demigod feel very authentic.
Authenticity is important too, as this story could easily descend into farce when you’re throwing in witches, cults and a hulking part-man, part-beast with red glowing eyes. Credit to the writing, it draws you into this ancient and unknown world and holds the attention until the very end.
Of course, we do have a cast to be picked off by the hunter and when it comes to blood and guts, Demigod is happy to let them spill. The effects are great, the sound of flesh ripping and bones breaking really stays with you. It is a shame though, that some of the characters killed lack impact purely because of little screen time. However, the film isn’t scared to kill those you might feel closest too.
That stuff feels very standard horror movie stuff but deaths are not liberally thrown about. Instead, Demigod goes for atmosphere and tension, heightened by the hunter/hunted angle. It’s that stuff that makes it a recommended watch. A movie to make you feel uncomfortable but entertained.
Demigod will be unleashed in theatres and on Demand on October 15, 2021.
The Final Score - 7/10