The Demons 2015
Les démons (original title)
1h 58min | Drama | 30 October 2015 (Canada)
1 win & 6 nominations.
A young boy begins to experience the adult world as he enters adolescence.
AWatched this on mubi, a great movie. I wonder why this hasn’t attracted more audience with just a few hundred votes and one review prior mine. The movie does have a child abuse sub plot, which may have scared distributors, but it’s no reason to avoid this very well made drama with a some horror elements to it.
This coming of age story follows a 10 year old boy with a backstory about a child kidnapper/killer in the city. The boy is being confused and scared about a lot of stuff. Overhearing adult conversations, TV, older brother and his friends. Uncertainty of own sexual feelings, crush on a teacher etc..
What first struck me is how stylish this movie is. It’s direction and cinematography are stunning. Poetic, slow, long takes. Strong use of music and sound (as a Finn I was pleasantly surprised by the use Jean Sibelius and Finlandia Op. 26, which opens the movie). Everything to the smallest detail seems to have been thought of, well framed shots, great color grading and interesting use of color through out the movie.
Quite dream like in it’s slowness, one could argue whether the things we see on screen are actual events or the boys imagination. There’s more evidence to support that the events are really taking place, but there is a bit of David Lynch factor involved, not much, but the movie is open for different interpretations. In a way the movie reminds me also of works by Philip Ridley (Reflecting Skin, Passion of Darkly Noon).
Altho not making a huge point of it, the movie seems to be set somewhere in the early 80s. The director must have some connection to Scandinavia, considering the use of Sibelius and I’m quite sure I saw the boy having an 80s iconic Swedish Fjällraven backpack, I had one just like it back then.
The movie is very strong on atmosphere, creating a warm sun scorched world, yet filled with threats. A strong contrast.
Recommended, it’s a dream like poetic experience even if quite distressing and difficult to watch at times.
Director: Philippe Lesage
Writer: Philippe Lesage
Stars: Édouard Tremblay-Grenier, Pier-Luc Funk, Vassili Schneider