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'Night of the Demons' : (R)

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
November 08, 1988

"Night of the Demons" opened five days after Halloween, which is about par for this underbudgeted film. A convergence of stereotypes (teen-agers and demons) and cliche's (they're all trapped in a haunted house that was the scene of a grisly murder many years before, there's a se'ance, etc.), "Demons" sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom and plays like it was conceived in a vacuum. "There's no telling what we'll dredge up, especially in this old place," says one never-to-get-beyond-teen-age-teen, and he could just as well be speaking for the scriptwriter, Joe Augustyn, and director, Kevin Tenney.

The plot brings a bunch of kids to deserted Hull House for a Halloween party. They include squeaky-clean Angela and preppy Jay, greaseball Sal, gothic Angela and her ditsy friend Suzanne, black preacher's son Roger, fat boy Stooge, shy Helen and sexually provocative Max and Frannie. You don't have to be a detective to guess which two will survive, and you don't have to be a callow person to feel none of the others will be missed one bit.

The ads say "Jason and Freddy are too scared to come," though Freddy sent some of his one-liners and Jason some of his goremongering techniques (there are two or three decent effects, but they pass quickly). Tenney, whose debut was the disastrous "Witchboard," does little with so little. And Augustyn writes the film's epitaph at the first sign of demonic infestation when he has a character say, "We all experienced the noise, the stink and the chill." Well, the stink, at least.

Night of the Demons is rated R and contains nudity and some extreme gore

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