Demon House (2019) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Demon House (2019) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on September 07th, 2021 | Movie Review | Demon, Haunted House, Paranormal Proof

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It’s a documentary/docudrama about a possessed home in Gary, Indiana.

Demon House stars Zak Bagans (director of the Travel Channel television series Ghost Adventures) as himself. He is also the film’s director, writer, and narrator.

Has Zak Bagans bitten off more than he can chew in purchasing a possessed home and boarding himself up inside of it?

Demon House Review

Demon House opens with a warning printed in white letters against a black screen:

The following documentary may not be suitable for all audiences. This film shows real people, places and events involving alleged demonic possession. Demonologists believe that demons can attach themselves to you through other people, objects, and electronic devices.

View at your own risk.

The disclaimer is reminiscent of the William Castle school of film marketing or the movie posters for Happy Birthday to Me which admonished, “No one will be seated during the last ten minutes…” (despite the fact that it largely played in drive-ins).

Demon House, however, is a documentary (or at least purportedly a documentary).

The worst of the worst in the horror movie pantheon is the authentic snuff film; rare contraband celluloid in which filmmakers actually killed someone. There are two related genres: (1) Faces of Death compilations of caught-on-film suicides, autopsies, and an accidental maiming or two; and (2) ersatz snuff films which utilize actors and special effects, the prime example being the first entries in the Japanese Guinea Pig releases. One might also create a category for “found footage” flicks like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project.

In Demon House, it seems that host Zak Bagans must be either a sensationalist-protagonist or a sociopath. It’s very unlikely he remains uncommitted to the truthfulness or falsity of his claims. This film took three years and the loss of several lives to complete.  Bagans is either a Barnum or a Bundy.

Logically, either the home is either a hoax or authentically dangerous. The documentary narrates how the film gave rise to several deaths, including the violent death of Bagans’ friend after she makes remote contact with a demon inhabiting the structure. So, either the body count is accurate, or it is a cluster of coincidences and lies.

Several alternative theories are examined which could explain the demon manifestations in the house, including carbon monoxide-induced hallucinations or naturally occurring magnetic spikes. The possibility that the home’s former tenants themselves manufactured falsehoods to make a quick buck is also considered. But each is ultimately dismissed.

If we take Zak Bagans at his word, then, this truly is a dangerous film and his opening disclaimer is woefully inadequate to protect those who view it.

Worth Watching?


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