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Review: DEMON HOUSE (2018)

Ghost hunter type shows are incredibly popular on basic cable television. Easy and cheap to film with plenty of room for sensationalism, they’re perfect for filling air time between infomercials and celebrity reality shows. GHOST ADVENTURES has been running on The Travel Channel since 2008. Now its star Zak Bagans has a feature-length documentary about the most haunted house he’s ever encountered, DEMON HOUSE.

DEMON HOUSE documentsZak’s investigation of the “House of 200 Demons” in Gary, Indiana, which Bagans bought in order to investigate fully. Since it was a documentary set for VOD and DVD release, I was expecting something stronger than what the show serves up. Something scarier, edgier or more sensational. But it isn’t, it’s the same mix of interviews, alleged occurrences, garbled EVP recordings and odd footage you can see on the show. There are coincidences that are implied to be the work of evil powers.

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A cop who was called to the house suffers a bad fall on ice and is later shot. A former occupant attempts suicide. Tragic but with no real connection to the house. And it’s certainly no edgier, there’s no bloody recreations of events, no skin, though they do say “fuck” a lot. Apart from that, it could have been a season-opening special episode of GHOST ADVENTURES.

Personally, I find most of these shows to be total garbage, dull, unconvincing and at times obviously faked. But it’s survived for nine years, so somebody must be watching it. And those would be the audience for DEMON HOUSE. But whether they’ll pay for what they can get for free remains to be seen. I’d certainly feel cheated if I dropped cash on it.

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The film ends with some supposedly terrifying footage of Zak alone in the house at night. If a bunch of security cam type shots with some growling in the background scares you, then I guess it qualifies. He claims to have developed a rare neurological condition afterwards, but no proof is given. That’s the final straw, and he has the house demolished. Considering it was in a bad part of Gary Indiana and full of mold and asbestos he probably got it cheap and turned a profit selling the empty lot. And he got a movie out of it.

DEMON HOUSE premiers in Theaters and on VOD and Digital HD March 16, 2018, from Freestyle Media.

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