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Review: AGRAMON’S GATE (2020)

Only a couple of months after Abstruse, Harley Wallen is back with the first actual horror film I’ve seen from him, Agramon’s Gate. Eternal Code had some elements that bordered on horror, it was primarily a science fiction/thriller. Abstruse had a psychotic killer, but was more of a modern-day noir thriller. But this time, it’s unmistakably horror as a demon looks to unleash Hell on Earth.

Richie (Kris Reilly, Enigma) and Cassidy’s (Kaiti Wallen, Betrayed) are having a party. They’ve hired a psychic Vesna (Aphrodite Nikolovski) to tell fortunes by way of entertainment. Ritchie, who’s a skeptic, isn’t thrilled when she suggests a seance. He’s even less thrilled when something tries to force its way into our world during it. Something that might be his father’s spirit.

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Carter (Yan Birch, The People Under The Stairs, Terror Tales) was not a nice man. When Ritchie was 12 he had to kill him to stop him from killing his mother (Laurene Landon, Maniac Cop). He saved her, but she’s been in an institution ever since. As whatever it begins to stalk the guests at the party, Vesna suspects it’s more than just an evil spirit and calls in demon hunter Zeb (Harley Wallen). He suspects the demon Agramon (Calhoun Koenig).

Agramon’s Gate starts out conventionally enough with poltergeist-like incidents, random sightings of dead people, demon-infested dream sequences etc. Then it takes a twist when Ritchie’s mother turns up on his doorstep. That’s one of a few interesting ideas at play, as the demon uses methods that are as much psychological as physical at times.

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Not that Agramon has any problems playing rough. There’s a heart-ripping scene that’s the bloodiest thing I’ve seen in one of Wallen’s films. It’s not particularly gory by genre standards, but it was nice to see.

On the downside, Agramon’s Gate can be a bit hokey at times. There’s a sword that was “blessed by two of the disciples. And it was what killed Dracula”. Like all of Wallen’s films, it takes a while to get going, and the low body count will disappoint a lot of viewers.

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But what really kills the film is the worst non-ending I’ve seen in a long time. Agramon’s Gate ends on what feels like something that should be the start of the final act. Instead, it ends with a couple of weird shots and roll credits. I have no clue what happened. If it’s meant to be a lead-in to a sequel, it didn’t work.

Agramon’s Gate will be available on digital platforms 2/11 from Midnight Releasing. You can find out more on the film’s Facebook page.

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