You know, when as hard as they were pushing for night of the Demons to become a franchise, I would’ve expected them to have rushed production… 12 to 16 months was when I figured we’d see the second installment – sometime in 1990. But no, it ended up being six years and we didn’t see a new one of his films until 1994. Because of all this time that has passed Angela looks a little bit different when she is in her human guise, but the make up for her monster form still looks very recognizable.
It may also be because of this longer gap that night of the Demons to feels more like a late series sequel rather than an immediate follow-up. We do something fairly bold here, and instead of giving us another haunted house flick they transplant the action – and it turns more into a possession/slasher flick.
This time when the group of teens partying at Hull House arrive (A little more than a half hour into the film), they have the good sense to get out quick (literally eighteen minuets later) but not before Angela hitches a ride in the popular girl’s purse. The main demonic assault in this film takes place in the catholic school – a good backdrop that should cause more dread and eeriness then it actually does. Still, there’s plenty of decent make up, respectable gore (man….that battle right before the end….) and callbacks to the original as they chase the demons back to the haunted house they came from. It’s an adequate sequel, but I feel like I didn’t get what I wanted from it. I really wanted another movie where we have Angela stalking hapless teenagers through the filth encrusted walls of the haunted house.
It’s a perfectly serviceable movie, and I don’t hate it. I actually like the good over evil themes and the fact that the religious folks, while over the top, aren’t really played for fools or hypocrites. Still, the attempt to shoehorn a backstory and relationship here feels clunky, like a misstep – much like the second installment of the nightmare on elm street series. Of course everybody knows the Freddy movies came back better than ever with the third sequel. I don’t remember anything about the third movie in this franchise to say whether or not that holds true here. Guess we’ll have to go and find out!