Demons 2 (1986)

A group of tenants and visitors are trapped in a 10-story high-rise apartment building infested with demons who proceed to hunt the dwindling humans down.After the initial demon outbreak (“Demons”), the creatures are spreading. In this second installment, residents of a 10-story apartment complex are viciously attacked by demons after one of them comes from the television screen. What started as a somber birthday party has taken a turn for the worse.

What can I say about “Demons 2”? It’s another Lamberto Bava picture with Argento’s fingers caressing it. Simon Boswell is added as composer (who did work on Argento’s “Phenomena”) and another Argento daughter (this time, Asia) makes an appearance in the supporting cast. That’s right, a young erection-inducing Asia Argento years before she was erection-inducing (unless you’re a sex criminal). Bobby Rhodes also returns, but as a different character entirely (maybe Bava thinks we won’t notice, but it’s hard not to).

While “Demons 2” is a decent and enjoyable film, it pales in comparison to the first film in pretty much every way. Bobby Rhodes has a smaller role and a less interesting persona (you can’t beat Tony the Pimp). The gore and splatter are reduced. The plot makes less sense, believe it or not. The suspense is reduced. And the memorable scenes from the first — such as the samurai sword-wielding motorcyclist — have no parallel here. It’s basically a disposable Italian horror film (of which there are many).

Also interesting is the music change. Instead of heavy metal music (which was awkward but worked) we are given Dead Can Dance, the Smiths and Peter Murphy… which also works. I guess the feeling is supposed to be less action and more goth. But they only got it half right — there was less action, but the Gothic themes were not stepped up. The only thing stepped up was the special effects (there’s a part that anticipates “The Ring”, for example).

I do own “Demons 2” and will not be selling it. But at the same time, the replay value is rather low. Even a double feature seems out of the question, as you need to increase the intensity of the second film during a double feature (this was a mistake “Grindhouse” made). Back to back, the sequel would make an audience fall asleep. If you want to see people holed up and getting attacked by demonic forces, watch “Dawn of the Dead” (original version).