Digital Dismemberment: The Demon of Castlebury DVD Review
Director- Mark Daniel
Producer- Aaron Thomas Howell, Deborah Quigley, John DeAlba, Dennis Broderick, Rick Burns, Mark Daniel, Marc Dube, Stefan Klein and Adam Vnuk
Special FX- Paul Clough
Cast- Lucy Jade Norris, Danielle Lozeau, Felicia Figueroa, Desiree Saetia, Crystal Aya, Katie Broderick, Dennis Broderick, Timothy J. Anders, Phil Godeck, Marsha Howard Karp and Shawn C. Phillips
Released By- Moongoyle Entertainment
Release Date- 2011
The Premise: The eternal wheel of evil turns in this seductive, supernatural thriller from Moongoyle Entertainment. Grace Ryan (Lucy Jade Norris) is a beautiful, young nurse’s aid who takes a summer job at a historic New England mill house. This magnificent property, separated from society, is the perfect setting for Grace to escape her past life as an exotic dancer. She becomes the new caretaker for Barbara Stowe (Carol Penney), the elderly resident of the mill house; however, Grace’s plans for a relaxing summer are transformed when an ancient demonic force returns to claim a new soul. This plague of evil has gripped the cursed land for centuries, and Grace is poised to be its latest victim. She calls on her friends for help, but when they answer her desperate plea for salvation, they find themselves trapped in a night from Hell. Unspeakable terror engulfs the pitiful souls as they struggle against hope to escape the vile wrath of The Demon of Castlebury.
With the glut of indie horror films that come out every day, it becomes a difficult task to decide what to watch and for what reasons. I can say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by Moongoyle Entertainment’s The Demon of Castlebury. The first thing that hits you are the incredible production values. The lighting, camera work and editing show a level of talent that hides under the budget constraints. The talent of the acting can not be overlooked either. While in parts, some of the characters can come across as stereotypes, but the overall energy and enthusiasm helps propel the film along and makes the characters believable. The film runs a shade over seventy minutes, but I feel that if anything else was added, it would seem like padding. The main character of the Demon/Barbara Stowe is portrayed much better in my opinion than some of the Hollywood possession films (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, A Haunting in Connecticut), and bonus points for the metal on the soundtrack. This is a perfect example of what can happen when you have the right talent and ambition behind your production!
We open up being told about 42 people, mostly women, being reported as missing in northern Connecticut since 1997… We hear lullaby music playing as we close in on a house in the dark and a young lady cleaning in the kitchen. She seems startled and thinks that someone is in the house with her. She runs out of the house and into the darkness to get away, but the runs back in and tries to secure herself in a room. She screams in the darkness and tries to leave, but an unseen force pulls her back into the room and forces her to the bed. The door opens and she looks to see who its, asking “What happened to you?” as the door slams and the screaming begins. It is now daytime and we see Grace pulling up to a beautiful house as the demon watches from upstairs…
Grace applies for and gets the job of caretaker for Barbara Stowe, an elderly lady that owns the house. After being given instruction by Barbara’s family about her care, they leave for 3 days. For the most part, Barbara spends the majority of her time in a rocking chair in the living room in a nearly comatose state. After meeting her patient and thinking her time working with her will be easy, strange things start to happen all around Grace. She goes and takes a nap upstairs. When she does, Barbara snaps up in her chair and starts rocking. While she does, Grace is plagued with odd dreams and hears demonic voices and thinks she sees a corpse in her room, but manages to convince herself it was a bad dream. Next, we flash to a strip club and we see the characters of Vin and Wally getting beratted at their jobs by the owner. Lots of music and pretty women follow, and we find out that these are Grace’s friends and she left the job…
We come back to Grace, and odd things are still happening at the house. Barbara coughs up Grace’s crucifix in the living room, and then sucks it back up, telling Grace in a demonic voice that “there will be no crosses in the house!” Grace calls her friends and asks them to come over to the house to keep her company and to tell them what is going on. Later, her crucifix is around her neck like nothing ever happened and Grace almost seems to brush it all off like nothing happened. The view changes to an almost Predator like view as she sees someone on the lawn and goes out to investigate, but finds nothing. The staff of the bar heads out to the house as more and more strange things happen around the house. The Demon begins to knock people off one at a time all through the house, leaving Grace to fend for herself. Can she escape the Demon and the fate of her friends, or will he Demon possess her as it did all of the others? You are going to have to watch to find out…
Extended and Deleted Scenes- (Run time of 2 minutes, 30 seconds) Cut, extended and alternate scenes from the film.
Gag Reel- (Run time of 2 minutes, 30 seconds) Assorted gaffes, goofs and blunders while on set.
Moongoyle Entertainment certainly deserves a round of applause for this release. There is a crispness and an air of professionalism about this release that you just do not see in a lot of independent horror films these days. The unique use of camera views and giving us that “Predator Vision” coloring on in several scenes really helps to give you the impression that you are looking through other-worldly eyes. The actor and actresses all hit their notes in the right way, and any campiness in this title is secondary and does not detract from the story. Slightly shorter than your average feature, it still hits all on all of the right themes without insulting its audience. The only things I would have liked to have seen added to the DVD would have been a commentary by the director and/or cast, as well as some interviews. Other than that, a very solid effort and I am looking forward to reviewing more of their movies!
Movie Rating: 3 out of 5
DVD Rating: 7 out of 10
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