Genre : Documentary Country : United States Director: Zak Bagans Cast: Zak Bagans Jay Wasley Billy Tolley Summary “As mass hysteria breaks-out over an alleged demonic possession in an Indiana home, referred to as a “Portal to Hell,” “Ghost Adventures”…
Genre : Documentary
Country : United States
Director: Zak Bagans
“As mass hysteria breaks-out over an alleged demonic possession in an Indiana home, referred to as a “Portal to Hell,” “Ghost Adventures” host and paranormal investigator Zak Bagans buys the house, sight unseen, over the phone. He and his crew then become the next victims of the most documented case of demonic possession in US history…the “house of 200 demons.”
The supernatural always makes for a good story. From horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist to more mainstream fare such as 1990’s Ghost and Bedazzled there’s just something about the paranormal that intrigues audiences; both on the silver screen and at home. Reality shows like A Haunting and Destination Truth are not only popular shows but some of the longer running shows on cable. But when it comes to popularity with 15 seasons and spawning multiple spin-offs, Ghost Adventures is the most popular of these types of shows. Now, over a decade since he started Ghost Adventures, host Zak Bagans is up against something he may not be ready for.
Since being profiled by The Indianapolis Star in 2014, the exorcism of Latoya Ammons and “The House of 200 Demons” has become a hot spot for the paranormal community. The legend only grew with write-ups in news outlets such as The Huffington Post and Fox News. Shortly after these phenomenal reports, paranormal investigator Zak Bagans bought the house and intends to get to the bottom of things. Is it all an elaborate hoax or is there something more sinister going on?
Interestingly enough the movie doesn’t really focus on what most people think of when they think of ghost hunting. Instead the focus is more on the stories of people effected by the house. While neither Latoya Ammons nor her children are interviewed family members, police officials, then-child protective services workers and documentary crew who are affected give their own version of what they experienced. Each person giving their own interesting case for why the house is haunted. At the same time Bagans doesn’t focuses solely on the people convinced the property is haunted.
Time is also given to people who don’t think anything supernatural happened such as family members and people who have been to the house. We even briefly hear about an unnamed Hollywood producer gets involved due to interest in the rights to the Demon House story. Not only does it give a complete picture of the Ammons possession but it helps distance the documentary from Bagans’s Ghost Adventures. That said the show’s influence does pop up every now and then.
Sharing a lot of the same cast and crew The Demon House can sometimes feel a bit too much like an episode of Ghost Adventures. It is especially noticeable during the dramatic recreations where costumes and settings tend to look cheap. The generic sets and goat-headed creature feeling more like b-roll from the show instead of something originally filmed for the movie. The tropes that come with the show also effect the documentary’s climax. After nearly two hours of build up the movie ends with Zak investigating the home himself. Certainly, the logical conclusion but the way it’s shot with security cameras and night vision make it feel like an episode of Ghost Adventures that they forgot to edit down. After all of the stories we hear about what went on in the house Bagans sitting in the dark yelling at some unseen entity feels anti-climatic.
Perhaps the most interesting part of The Demon House is its ability to play both sides of the fence. For believers or fans of Ghost Adventures it provides a more extensive look into the research that goes into investigating the paranormal. Its a side of the Ghost Adventures crew that we dont really see on the show. At the same time for skeptics there is an interesting story here with a cast of colorful characters telling their own unique tales of the supernatural.
Will it convince skeptics that there are forces beyond our understanding? Absolutely not. There are way too many holes in the story and hokey TV editing to really convince them. But with a riveting story with such a cool location, The Demon House makes for an intriguing watch nevertheless for believers and non-believers alike.