Peter arrives from England in a small town in rural Poland to marry his fiance. After falling into a pit of human remains in the yard, Peter becomes undone as strange forces possess him at his reception and reveal the town’s secret past.
Hitchcock's films often left viewers with unanswered questions; yet people didn't complain much and he became known as a master of suspense. With the passage of time, it seems audiences (American ones, at least) wanted the guesswork done for them. You will not like this film if you want answers - now. Indeed, you will probably hate it as many reviews here can attest. But if you're open-minded and have a decent grasp of the humanities, you may be surprised by what this film offers. A groom-to-be arrives in Poland from the UK to marry his bride and meet his in-laws. While digging around the property of the dilapidated farmhouse which is his new home, the groom discovers human remains and soon begins seeing the spirit of the woman to whom those remains belong. Soon thereafter, at his wedding reception, the spirit takes control, leaving his family and guests bewildered and, in many cases, quite angry. This possession isn't another Exorcist-ish freakshow. Rather, it takes the audience back in time. Wedding guests muse about the time Poland was the entire world, a country for Poles, by Poles, until some "evil element" entered and divided it. And when the spirit begins to speak Yiddish, the tragic fate of the Polish Jewry comes to the fore. Poland, before World War II, had one of the largest Jewish populations in the world. Casimir the Great gave the Jews of Europe asylum in the Middle Ages when other nations were slaughtering them every chance they could get. This caused some resentment among the Poles - there is little doubt that this was the "evil element" referenced in the film. And the only person able to make sense of this spirit is the lone Jew at the wedding, an elderly man who is later struck with sorrow when he is driven around the town he once frequented, a town that had a strong Jewish presence now totally gone - buried, if you will. The film does not solve the riddle of the human remains but the family and guests at the wedding display such an unwillingness to visit the past that they seem complicit. There is no desire to address what the Holocaust did to the Jews of Poland. Indeed, the majority of the tiny number who survived left Poland because of the powerful anti-Semitism that remained. But the film does not preach. Instead, it skillfully uses suspense and terror as a medium to examine a nation's conscience about matters that should never be forgotten. Its understated, graceful approach makes it quite outstanding and unique. My hope is that other screenwriters and directors will at least try to emulate it.
This is a chilling story, reminiscent of the work of Isaac B. Singer, who was well versed in Jewish folklore. More than just a movie about demonic possession, it touches on the collective amnesia post WWII of a Polish community that may have something to hide. Is the real demon the ghost of a young Jewish girl who perished during the war, or denial of the Nazi regime responsible for her demise? There is an ongoing construction project at the heart of the film. Once you start to dig, you never know what you may uncover.
Beautifully shot, haunting, profound... I don't think the narrative was incoherent (as other reviewers have claimed), but there is definitely a historical context one needs to understand to get the most out of this film.
I am solidly perplexed by a couple of the reviews here; apparently a few folks watched this film and had no idea what they were seeing. This is an interesting little metaphysical parable/ghost story, with that ephemeral Central European fatalism that permeates most of the filmmaking from this part of the world. Folk logic and nostalgia bump up against the contemporary world in an unexpected supernatural manner. I found it by turns a little scary, very funny, and strangely philosophical. Nice job.
This was refreshingly creepy. It's a really sim0le storyline, but has a great pace and good acting. Horror films can be so cheesy, so I was pleasantly surprised that they could take an age-old theme and update it from a different perspective. Watch it.
After reading so many reviews talking about how great of a movie this was, I was very excited to see it. However, I did not think this film was that great. Everyone obviously has their own criteria to determine whether or not they like or love certain movies, but I was looking forward to more of a "Thriller", mainly because of the title, DEMON. With that said, I didn't think it was a bad movie at all. It was just not my type of film. If you put aside your expectations about the title and the description given for the movie saying what it was about, which was a possession of a newly married man, then you may enjoy it for what it was, which was NOT a "thriller/mystery" in my opinion. It was more of a psychological film centered around one family in Poland, whose daughter was getting ready to marry a man that neither she nor her family knew anything about and then something strange happens to the young man, leading in to some bizarre behavior. I kept waiting for something to happen with the young man, like some help, but it never materialized and the ending, to me, was confusing and left me with more questions than answers.