Directed by Marcin Wrona
A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
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★★★★½ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd
The lead actor here, Itay Tyran, is worthy of year-end awards. (Don't be surprised if he turns up on my best actor ballot on various critics polls.) And there is only one shot in this movie I dislike, a cutesy homage to a classic horror movie that diminishes the gravity of what's transpired. It turns a ghastly tragedy into just another horror movie. Without that shot, Demon stand entirely on its own as a howl of pain into the unfeeling void.
★★★★ review by Marianna Neal on Letterboxd
A very smart film that requires at least some knowledge of Polish WWII history and the ties it has to modern day Poland. A lot of people were thrown off by the ambiguous ending, but once the allegory is clear the ending becomes much less ambiguous. On the surface, Demon is a slow-burn, beautifully-shot, atmospheric and creepy possession film, but really it's so much more than that!
★★★★½ review by F3lixL3g1ons on Letterboxd
The Dybbuk strikes again — this time in the midst of a Polish wedding celebration. Clearly, this is a love it or hate it film. I love it! Fair warning here: Demon will probably only appeal if, like me, you can appreciate a light-hearted mix of vintage mystery, Jewish folklore and Polanski-ish tone!
HYPNOTIZING in its mild surrealism. DARING in its soft genre-bending. CHARMING in its Eastern European spirit.
★★★★½ review by Waldo on Letterboxd
Zaneta and Piotr don't know each other very well but they love each other and they're gonna get married. They already have a great old house that's a fixer upper, the wedding reception will take place there, everyone's invited to this party, only Piotr the night before discovers by accident a pile of human bones out in the yard and he'll start feeling like a total stranger at his own wedding. Soon the whole wedding reception will descend into chaos and then straight to hell. The director Wrona did a fantastic job crafting a haunting tale of possession that looks like something out of Dante's inferno. Too bad the director killed himself shortly after this movie. A little horror masterpiece.
★★★★ review by Keith Watson on Letterboxd
In order to free themselves from this curse, all Poles have to do is say that terrible things happened in our grandfathers’ or great-grandfathers’ generation and shed a tear over those who were killed. That’s all.
Where Aftermath turned Jan Gross's Neighbors--about Polish complicity in the Holocaust and the nation's refusal to own up to its anti-Semitism--into blunt-force drama, Demon takes the same theme and plays it as absurdist horror-comedy. The wedding guests as Polish society: They just want to drink and dance and don't want some guy telling everybody where the bodies are buried. And they'd rather not listen to some old Jew drone on about "society" either. The Jewish teacher is of course the only one with any clue what's going on--the man of God (priest) and man of science (doctor) are useless. The parents assure everyone everything is just fine. Nothing to see here. No reason to let the ghosts of the past trouble your collective conscience.
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