The first teaser trailer for writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic gave absolutely nothing away. The new lengthy trailer lets us into the visually arresting world Blomkamp’s created for his fourth feature film.
Blomkamp’s (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) supernatural horror/sci-fi film stars Carly Pope (The Good Doctor), Chris William Martin (The Vampire Diaries), Michael J. Rogers (Siren), Nathalie Boltt (Riverdale), Kandyse McClure (Hemlock Grove), and Terry Chen (Jessica Jones). The behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Byron Kopman, production designer Richard Simpson, and editor Austyn Daines (additional editing by Julian Clarke). The music is by Ola Strandh and Viktor Muller is the visual effects supervisor.
Discussing the inspiration for Demonic, writer/director Neill Blomkamp said, “It was really a combination of things. When the pandemic occurred and my other projects were put on hold, I wanted to do something we could control and just go out and shoot. References for that were films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, so I decided to do something in the horror realm. I also had this idea of using a new technology called volumetric capture, which lent itself more to science fiction. So it became a case of how do you create a story with those elements.”
Blomkamp offered the following description of the volumetric capture process, something he believes has never been used in a feature film to this extent before. “It’s basically three-dimensional video, where you’re turning your actors into geometry. You need about 260 cameras arranged in some sort of grid or dome that can see the actors from all points of view,” explained Blomkamp. “On our stage where we had our 260-camera volumetric setup, the only thing we were gathering was the actors. They were in a very difficult non-conducive-to-acting environment where there was scaffolding and cameras everywhere they looked. And the only elements we got out of those sessions were the actors in that volume. Then separately we photographed the environments they would be put into, which are turned into 3D objects. And then you drop your actor captures into those 3D environments. Once they’re combined, you can set up the shot exactly as you want to see it in the movie and film that with your virtual digital camera.”
IFC Midnight has set an August 20, 2021 release in theaters, on demand, and digital.
The Plot, Couresty of IFC Midnight:
When Carly Spenser (Pope) learns that her estranged mother Angela (Boltt) has fallen into a coma, she reluctantly agrees to take part in a cutting-edge therapy that will allow her to tap into Angela’s still-active brain and communicate with her. Observed by physician Michael (Rogers) and neuroscientist Daniel (Chen), she enters a harrowing simulation of Angela’s mindscape where she discovers the powerful supernatural force that drove her mother to commit unspeakable acts of violence nearly two decades earlier.
Afterward, haunted by terrifying visions, Carly joins forces with her old friend Martin (Martin) as she desperately tries to fend off the monstrous demon before it can enter a new host and inflict more pain and suffering on the world.