Starring Julia Kelly, Christopher Daftsios, Ryan Redebaugh
Directed by Jeremy Wechter
Found-footage films have rapidly become the bane of my existence, and it uncharacteristically would take something Herculean to sway my opinion of the format at any turn – next up through the turnstile is Jeremy Wechter’s E-Demon – a look into the lives of friends that just can’t seem to shut their friggin’ laptops down for the night.
The film is actually more than my passive-aggressive stance on the premise, but this one certainly had its share of ups-and-downs – for instance, let’s pick on the opener of this one, shall we? We’ve got a masked figure, complete with digitally-distorted voice acting as a representative of the “E-Demon Resistance Network” warning viewers of what they’re about to see…okay, can someone tell this repressed 16-year-old to get off of his Dell before Mommy and Daddy come downstairs and remind him that it’s a school night? It’s goofy, it doesn’t set up the film very well, and I’ve immediately chalked up a very LARGE negative tic next to this one so far. Moving right along, the film focuses on four former college-pals who have drifted apart over the course of time after graduation (career, family and a general sense of dissatisfaction have sent them scattering), and they opt to chat online with each other to catch up, watch themselves get cocked on-camera and pull pranks on one another. Mind you this is all set against the knowledge of what horrific incident has befallen these four friends…come on, wasn’t anyone listening to the mysterious masked man warbling his cautionary spiel to us all? Shame on you for disavowing such pertinent information, Mr. Hunt.
Anyways, for the better part of this movie’s runtime we get to watch this generally unlikeable foursome yap back and forth to each other through choppy internet connections and stagnant dialogue…that is until the evil shenanigans begin to take form – you see, the E-Demon is quite the naughty little virus, and it’s always looking to put a user in harm’s way. It works in essence because the act of possession just by looking into a computer monitor is an interesting one, but then someone presses that damned “conscious thought” button and makes you wonder why no one pulled the fu**ing plug on their laptops when this shit started to get out of hand in the first place? Wechter does an admirable job of allowing his actors to move about the film and almost let the audience loose inside a quartet of creepy environments, but when you ground yourself and realize that this is just a collection of self-absorbed douches who can’t take a technical hint to save their lives, well…let’s just say that a long-overdue cleansing of this hard-drive is in order.