I can happily report that Ursula Dabrowsky has lived up to, and exceeded, the promise shown in her debut feature Family Demons (2009) with the second film in her Demon-trilogy, Inner Demon.
The film starts on an ominous note as teenage Sam and her young sister are visited in the dead of night by a serial killer couple. From that point on it’s a chilling ride told virtually entirely from the point-of-view of Sam as she tries to escape from her captors, rescue her young sister and face her own mortality in the process.
Given that this is a Dabrowsky film it was never going to be a one-dimensional cat and mouse game of survival between Sam and her ruthless attackers. An added supernatural twist comes late in the piece out of the blue and is truly the stuff of nightmares, the imagery here is truly horrific.
Inner Demon belies its low-budget. The film looks lush and expansive and is beautifully shot. There are many filmmakers out there who have done far LESS with far MORE. Of note also is the great music by Michael Taylor, it’s never obtrusive or distracting and helps set the scene and build the tension admirably.
The real star of the film, both literally and figuratively, is young Sarah Jeavons in her first starring role. It’s an astounding accomplishment that this young actress is in virtually every frame of the film and is thoroughly and entirely believable. Much credit must be given to Dabrowsky for casting Jeavons and guiding her along the way. It’s a no-brainer to say that Jeavons has a great acting career ahead of her.
It should also be pointed out that the other cast members, including Family Demons’ actress Kerry Reid (Denise) and Andreas Sobik (Karl) as the serial killer couple do outstanding jobs.
There’s not a single moment in the film where you don’t believe the peril in which Sam finds herself and the cat and mouse structure never dissolves into American cliché territory. In an American film of a similar nature Sam would drop the crowbar she found after first using it as a weapon. In this film she grasps it as if her very life depends on it, as it indeed does.
Given the trajectory that Dabrowsky has achieved with her two feature films to date it’s exciting to imagine what she will come up with next. As the catch line to Inner Demon says “You don’t have to die to go through hell” but with a guide like Dabrowsky it’s sure to be an exciting ride and one I’ll willingly take.
Click here to read Crimson Celluloid’s interview with Ursula Dabrowsky and Family Demons actress Cassandra Kane.