Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic combines sci-fi elements with a story about demons and exorcists, but this mashup leads to some major plot holes.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic, out now via IFC Midnight.
Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic isn’t your run-of-the-mill exorcist flick as it weaves tech into its supernatural story. Carly (Carly Pope) discovers that Therapol, a mysterious biotech firm, has wired up her comatose mom, Angela, creating a mindscape for Carly to communicate with and decipher secrets tied to demonic possession.
But as the film rolls on with the Vatican-sanctioned company trying to find the gateway to banish Angela’s spirit, a few egregious plot holes arise.
Finding the Gateway
Therapol’s agents, Michael and Daniel, are actually military priests, hoping to find the sanitarium where Angela was possessed decades ago. This point of infection is the only gateway they can use to banish the demon so they monitor Angela and Carly’s conversations in the mindscape to find the place. When Carly gets manipulated by the demon, who uses Sam, it becomes clear she’s going to the location.
It’s why the exorcists gear up, to follow her to the spot. Yet when Carly finds Sam in the Los Angeles woods, Sam confirms the exorcists are already at the sanitarium. It’s never explained how they found it. In addition, Carly told them of the site and the deaths there, so they could have Googled it to find the place themselves. It’s never explained why it’s unsearchable and why Carly, Martin, and Sam aren’t keen on revealing the location.
The Sacred Armory
When Carly and her friend Martin get to the sanitarium, they find Daniel and all the priests dying or dead. The demon has jumped from Angela into Michael, so Martin searches for ammo as all he’s got is a hunting rifle. Martin says they’re out of ammo, but he only checks the cases around Daniel’s truck.
Daniel actually has weapons inside that he doesn’t check, plus Martin ignores the perimeter where there are dozens of dead soldiers with sacred guns. What’s also ridiculous is a possessed Michael captures and tells Martin he burned all the holy weapons, yet there are dead bodies with guns all around.
The Holy Lance
Before he dies, Daniel gives Carly the Holy Lance to stab Michael and send the demon back to Hell. He also tells her to go rescue Angela’s soul as she’s hooked up to the machine where they tried to find the spirit’s digital presence. The problem is, Carly keeps the dagger with her while Martin goes to fight Michael with a normal knife. He should wield the dagger so he could protect Carly’s unconscious body while increasing his chances of slaying the possessed warrior.
When Carly does fight Michael later, the dagger stabs him and leaves smoking wounds. Michael’s hands also burn when he grabs it, yet after Carly kills his mortal frame, as the demon jumps into her, Demonic forgets about this rule. A possessed Carly is holding the blade, yet her hands don’t burn nor does the demon realize it’s wielding the weapon it’s allergic to. Carly should drop it right away.
The Exorcism Itself
We have no clue why Daniel tells Carly to save Angela. Angela’s body is broken so her mind has nowhere to go. It’s never explained what Carly needs to do with the digital matrix they built. The priests shouldn’t have even performed an exorcism since it can’t bring Angela back from her violent injuries.
They’re foul-mouthed and selfish, so what would have made sense was them stabbing Angela’s body with the dagger, giving her a mercy killing, and automatically sending the demon back. They literally have it trapped in a vessel while an exorcism would clearly let it loose for a bit, which backfires as it jumps into Michael. The rules of this tech-ritual really needed to be made clearer.
Demonic, Neill Blomkamp’s attempt at horror, is out now via IFC Midnight.
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