Attack of the Demons, which had its World Premiere at the Cinepocalypse Film Fest, shows what kind of magic can happen when a familiar idea is tackled in a whole new way. The plot intentionally sticks close to dozens of other horror movies. Three former schoolmates are reunited at a Halloween festival in a small Colorado town. One's a film buff, one's a music buff, and the third is a videogame freak. They have to fight for their lives after a band of mutating demons is unleashed upon the town.
Sounds like something you've seen before, right? What makes Attack of the Demons different is that the film is rendered in cut-paper animation. In other words, it's done the same way South Park was in its earliest days.
Using this form of animation gives the story a surrealistic feel, as though the gruesome events are somehow both more and less authentic at the same time. When you see construction paper being used to show demons taking over people and merging them together, or someone having their body mangled by an attacking creature, it achieves a hypnotic quality that you can't look away from. Such things are typically accomplished with human actors and practical effects, so the gore can be unsettling. Attack of the Demons can be as gory as it wants – and it does – yet the effect is slyly humorous.
Director Eric Power makes the images incredibly detailed. This is in no way a cheap-o production. Every shot is captivating to look at. I can't imagine how much time it must have taken to achieve, but the commitment to having an intricate design pays off magnificently.
Andreas Petersen's screenplay is an intentional homage to horror cinema. Many of the conventions of the genre are spoofed, including the whole “cabin in the woods” concept. You can feel the affection for horror throughout Attack of the Demons. It was clearly made by people who love scary movies and want to have fun with them in a format that's never been used this way before.
It's hard to say what the future prospects will be for such a cheerfully oddball film. Presumably it will continue on the festival circuit for a while and maybe, if it's lucky, find a distributor, at least for VOD. Just remember the title Attack of the Demons and keep an eye out for it. This is a quirky, crazy, wildly enjoyable piece of horror animation.
Attack of the Demons is currently unrated, but contains adult language and graphic violence. The running time is 1 hour and 17 minutes.