The new horror movie Demonic will haunt you in your sleep

Watch the trailer for the supernatural freak-out movie from the director of ‘District 9’.

by Douglas Greenwood
21 July 2021, 2:15pm

The nice thing about this summer is that, alongside the unusually hot weather (thank you fossil fuel industry!), we’re also getting a wave of new horror movies in the comparatively cooler cinemas. Some of them are holdovers from last summer, when all theatres were shuttered, and others are brand new. Like Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic, the twisted horror movie for which a trailer just dropped.

Set in an alternative present, in which living in simulations inside of our minds is possible, Demonic tells the story of a young woman visiting her ailing, comatose mother in hospital. They haven’t spoken to one another in years, but when she gets there, she discovers her mother’s mind is simulating homicidal scenarios. In an effort to reconnect with her, the young woman enters into the simulation herself, but finds that many of its most violent elements are seeping back out into the real world. The film’s tagline? “It’s not a dream. It’s not reality.”

The movie’s director, Neill Blomkamp, is known best for sci-fi cinema, namely District 9 and Chappie, and while he’s familiar with turning disconcerting imagery into jump scares, he’s never delved fully into the horror world. This is his first, and by the looks of it he knows exactly what he’s doing. 

The merging of AI and horror imagery looks interesting, and seems to give him a little more leeway with letting imaginations run wild. So whether you’re into sci-fi, fantasy horror or true crime scares, it seems like Demonic will have something for everyone.

In some ways, it’s quite a smart segue to make: with a small cast and much of its imagery digitally rendered, Neill Blomkamp was able to make Demonic in the downtime provided by the pandemic. Work on his next sci-fi epic, titled Inferno, was put on pause, and is set to go into production this year instead. 

If you’re looking for other horrors to freak out to this summer, plenty more are on the way! Sundance hit The Night House has just arrived in US theatres, while M Night Shyamalan’s Old will arrive on Friday. A giallo horror revival comes in the form of the Uruguayan film The Last Matinee, out in the US on 6 August. And who could forget the long delayed Candyman? Nia Dacosta’s remake of the horror classic finally gets its release on 27 August.

Demonic is sandwiched in between them all: it will be released in cinemas on 20 August in the UK and US. Watch the trailer below and book your tickets ASAP.

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