Gore and sex on Halloween!
Like all marketable horror films of the 80’s, Night of the Demons is an inexhaustible source of cheese, gore and partial nudity, has a strong gimmick and a catchy sonata. Few movies summarize quintessential b-horror like this one, though. It combines tropes of many major subgenres, namely haunting, possession, slasher and witchcraft. By genre tradition, it features teenagers in their 20’s, too.
Several aspects of the film make it one of the best horror productions out there. Contrary to vampires, zombies and werewolves, demons are an ill-defined antagonist in horror movies. In Night of the Demon’s case, they are as vocal, magical and virulent as Evil Dead’s and as physically threatening as 1985’s Demons’. In all three instances, the invasion is limited to a confined location.
The dialog is disorganized and the acting exaggerated, yet the end product is so unique that it might as well be considered a deliberate directorial decision. The characters are dumb. The subplots are silly when not downright hilarious. The ambiance is highly pertinent for a Halloween setup and the style is so cohesive that Night of the Demon’s cursed "land" comes out as a suspension of reality.