Lillith (2019) Review
Lillith, (not to be confused with Lilith, an anthology film about the same demon) begins with Professor Hardy (Langston Fishburne, Ant-Man and the Wasp, 86 Melrose Avenue) giving a lecture about demons to a mostly empty lecture hall. This tells us that the film is about demons and that its budget was too low to afford a lot of extras.
Among those occupying seats are Jenna Collins (Nell Kessler) and her friends Emma (Robin Carolyn Parent, Boned) and Charlie (Taylor Turner). They want to hang out later but she has plans with her boyfriend Brad (Michael Finnigan) to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Unfortunately he forgot to check his calendar before jumping into bed with some other woman.
Emma convinces her that the best revenge involves spells and hexes. They conjure up the demon Lillith (Savannah Whitten, Impossible Monsters). As is usually the case, things get out of hand and soon Rising Wood Community College is being stalked by a murderous succubus.
In case the fact that a film about a sex demon is set at Rising Wood Community College didn’t give it away, Lilith is a horror comedy. Much of the humour derives from Whitten, all black lace and matching lipstick topped with a mane of red hair. She’s a woman men would die for, and since she has the personality of Harley Quinn, they get the chance to do just that.
Her tone of voice and facial expressions as she tries to direct a frat boy’s mouth to her clit are quite amusing. As is her dropping in on Jenna and her friends with a cheery “Wassup bitches?”. She’s the kind of character Linnea Quigley would have played back in the 80s in films like Night of the Demons.
Unfortunately, this makes our heroes look distinctly bland and uninteresting by comparison. We already know they’re not very bright. They set a demon on somebody and didn’t think it would kill him? They thought it would just give him an epic case of crabs? It makes it hard to believe they’ll figure out a way to send Lillith back to hell.
Growing up, I was not a fan of horror films. I was terrified. I refused to watch them. Then when I was in high school, my friends and I watched “Nightmare on Elm Street” and I loved it.Lee Esposito director of Lillith
For a film made on a low six-figure budget, Lilith has nice, if low-tech, makeup effects for the title character in her demonic form. But apart from some nasty-looking remains, Lillith is actually a fairly tame film. The kind where everything tends to happen off-screen.
Now I’m not saying that a horror film needs to have nudity or loads of gore to be enjoyable. But if you’re going to make a film about a demon that has sex with and then kills people in messy ways shouldn’t you deliver the goods? The raunchiest thing about it is the song “Succubitch” that plays over the end titles. There’s no post-credits scene, but it’s worth listening to anyway.
Lillith still manages to be an enjoyable film and ends with a wicked jab at one of Hollywood’s oldest clichés. But it manages to waste a number of potentially great set pieces along the way. For example, at one point the trio has to track the demon down at a party at “the horniest frat on campus”. That could almost have been a film all to itself. Instead, it’s played off quickly before the plot moves on.
Terror Films will release Lillith On Demand and Digital on July 9th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.