Rapid Movie Review: ‘DEMON’ and ‘THE LATE BLOOMER’

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Preston Barta // Editor

DEMON | 94 min | R
Director: Marcin Wrona
Cast: Itay Tiran, Agnieszka Zulewska, Andrzej GrabowskiTomasz Schuchardt and Katarzyna Herman

The scariest thing about this film is that its director, Marcin Wrona, was found dead in his hotel the weekend before preparing to screen it at Fantastic Fest in 2015. On top of that, DEMON hinges on the idea of a dybbuk, which in Jewish mythology is believed to be an evil spirit of a dead person that haunts the living.

The odd parallels are not easy to swallow here, especially upon learning that Wrona got married not too long ago, a lot like the protagonist in DEMON. The trailer sets up a pleasant, romantic film, but it takes a 180 turn quickly and dives into the kind of material that haunts your dreams.

While on paper this reads as a cliché-ridden tale of a demonic possession, there is more than meets the eye. It’s a refreshing and unique take on an all-too-crowded genre.

Opens in limited release. Playing at the Angelika Dallas in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Jame Cole Clay // Film Critic

THE LATE BLOOMER | 90 min | R
Director: Kevin Pollak
Cast: Johnny SimmonsMaria BelloBrittany SnowJ.K. SimmonsBlake CooperBeck BennettPaul Wesley and Jane Lynch

Sometimes even a damn good cast can’t save a flaccid comedy. Directed by comedy great and master impressionist Kevin Pollak, THE LATE BLOOMER takes a sketch comedy approach to making a feature film. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work– not even for a second.

Note: Pollack directed a fascinating documentary that looks into the mind of a comedian called MISERY LOVES COMEDY, and it’s worth checking out!

Basically the movie is about a sex therapist Peter (normally a solid Johnny Simmons) who is hiding something, but we never find out what it is exactly. He has issues connecting intimately with women, including his friend Michelle (Brittany Snow) that he awkwardly kisses one night. Following a trip to the hospital after being hit in the nards with a basketball we find out Peter has a benign tumor that has suppressed his pituitary gland and caused him never to enter puberty.

There’s so many things wrong with this movie: Not only is it a gross misuse of Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons (WHIPLASH) and the hilarious Kumail Nanjiani (SILICON VALLEY), the logic which could have been sharply funny becomes dull. Unfortunately, this is a classic case of quality talent not rising to the occasion.

Available today on On-Demand and playing in select theaters.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.