A horror movie about demons is screening on the television sets in a modern apartment building. Teenager Sally gets the birthday surprise of her life when one of these monsters crosses into the real world, and she becomes a bloodthirsty demon. With the power cut off, the building's high-tech security systems imprison the inhabitants inside the building. And as the possession spreads, the survivors find themselves fighting for their lives.
Rather than a continuation of Demons (1985), Demons 2 is almost a re-telling of the same story but in a different setting. It retains the fast pace of the original, and adds a few new elements (for example, the acidic demon blood burning through the floor/ceiling in an Aliens-type way, as a further source of infection). Like its predecessor it uses a strong soundtrack very well, though it's more pop/new wave than rock/heavy metal this time round - which is perhaps more in keeping with some of the laugh-out-loud 80s fashion and dancing at Sally's birthday party. The gore is less in-your-face than the first film, and although the special effects are far from terrible, they don't seem quite as effective this time round. The squealing 'baby' demon for example is hard to take seriously, as it looks too much like a comedy version of a Gremlin puppet. It's actually more cute than terrifying.
Having said that, the film still manages to include some scares. The film-within-a-film sequences are wonderfully tense and atmospheric, and I found them genuinely frightening. The characters watching it on their televisions certainly seem entranced. And I'm surprised I've not heard a fan conspiracy theory that they could have simply been hypnotised by the movie into committing the acts of violence, rather than there being a genuine demonic infestation. Oh well, just a thought..
The biggest difference between this and the previous film is the cheese factor, which is considerably higher in Demons 2. There is a doggy-demon, a surprisingly clean and nifty child birth, a gym full of people in amusingly inappropriate fitness outfits, and the surprisingly homoerotic inclusion of many bare male torsos throughout - each lovingly smeared with baby oil. And remember - if your beefy gym instructor can't kick down a security door, you could always try chucking flowerpots at it.
There are also some interesting similarities between the two movies. As well as the similar settings (the claustrophobia of being trapped in a building), they both feature the birth of a demon from the body of a human, a blind/blinded character, a handsome hero named George, a German location, and they even share actors (Tony the Pimp reappears as Hank the gym instructor, and Ripper the coke-snorting punk returns as the apartment security guard).
I totally enjoyed Demons 2! It has a combination of gross-out gore, atmospheric horror, and campy, unintentional comedy that really appeals to me. I thought it was a lot of fun, and definitely one to watch with a group of friends. 5/5