There’s a very good chance that you’ve never heard of Marcin Wrona’s film Demon. The Polish-Israeli production started touring the festival circuit in the autumn of 2015. It screened at Toronto International Film Festival and then moved on to Gdynia. However, after it appeared at the Polish festival, Wrona committed suicide in his hotel room. It sadly seemed as though he carried around the same demons with him as his lead.
Piotr (Itay Tiran), who now calls England his home, is set to marry a Polish woman Zaneta (Agnieszka Zulewska) he met over the internet; although he’s friends with her brother (Tomasz Schuchardt). He’s determined to embody everything Polish, insisting that the couple move into her grandfather’s rural estate. He particularly wants to impress Zaneta’s father (Andrzej Grabowski). As the wedding approaches, he’s working on their future home when he unearths a skeleton. This discovery begins to have a profound effect on him.
Demon is an atmospheric and unnerving horror which weaves an old Jewish legend about a tormented wandering soul (Dybbuk) into a modern Polish setting. In many ways the film acts as a metaphor for a country desperately trying to forget the lowest moment in its history whilst subconsciously re-writing the past. Wrona creates a deeply uncomfortable experience, laced with an air of malice and wrongness. There’s also a healthy slice a dark humour and ghoulish macabre for good measure. Demon is an unsettling horror which conjures up ghosts of another epoch.
Demon is released on DVD by Sharp Teeth Films on 25 May.