Why Demons is a Better Gateway Into Italian Horror Than Suspiria

It’s 2019, everyone and their mother is obsessed with 80’s pop culture and horror. Conversations with my wife about growing up in the wrong time period we come to terms that now is the perfect time. We have an entire digital library from the 80’s wether it’s Netflix, Shudder or YouTube, finding a horror film from the past is shorter than going to the bathroom. Luca Gaudagnino rebirthed Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria late last year receiving almost  positive reviews from Argento fans and new fans. Argento’s Suspiria was a blend of slasher and supernatural sub genre and often pointed out as Argento’s masterpiece by a majority of horror critics. With Suspiria getting well known especially with the remake there is one movie that should gain the proper attention from the masses and that movie is Demons (Demoni 1985).

Produced by Dario Argento and Directed by Lamberto Bava (the son of the Italian Horror master Mario Bava Black Sabbath, Bloody Sunday) Lamberto Bava raises the volume to eleven making one of the best horror films to come out of Italy. Aiming for the American audience, Demons’ soundtrack consists of famous songs from Go West, Billy Idol, Accept, Saxon, Rick Springfield and Mötley Crüe. Set in a movie theater called Metropol, unsuspected random people on the street receive preview passes to go see a new horror movie. What happens next is sheer terror as the Metropol becomes a death trap as the patrons evolve into demons. When an in-your-face hair metal soundtrack, demon slaughter with aggressive pimps and katanas; Demons is a non stop thrill ride that will impress the younger generations streaming for a campy horror flick on a Friday night.

I remember seeing Demons for the first time at Exhumed’s 24 hour Horror Marathon back in 2007. It was 5AM, and I had just fallen asleep watching the previous title Dracula VS Frankenstein and Teenage Mother. I woke up watching a movie about people in a movie theater watching a horror movie. Once a familiar tune came on I instantly felt warm with desire to embrace the absolute chaos. Demons instantly became my favorite movie from the marathon. The joy I get from watching Demons with people whom had never seen it brings me absolute joy as well.

 

Demons was met with a sequel almost a year later called Demons 2 which followed the original story so many years later. Demons 2 had a great quality soundtrack as well but plot holes lacked my attention. Still, Demons 2 is not a bad film at all and should be followed after watching Demons. Like Suspiria, Claudio Simonetti from Goblin, who provided the soundtrack for Suspiria as for many Argento films comes back and scores Demons. The title theme is a fantastic blend of a voodoo ritual beat and 80’s turntable.

Argento’s Suspiria is a classic that is definitely overrated, unlike Demons. Demons deserves incredible recognition and I believe is still available on Shudder.

 

About Bryan Enright 106 Articles
A father, husband, actor, writer, and most of all a film guru. Director of the short movie Cuddlez. Favorite music is Synthwave My all time favorite movies are Demons, Suspiria, Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps and Predator 2. You can like my Cuddlez movie page at Facebook.com/cuddlezthemovie And you can follow me at Twitter.com/bryanenright