Movie Review: Horror in a “South Park” vein — “Attack of the Demons”

Filmmaker Eric Power turns the digital version of that cut-out construction paper style of animation that “South Park” made famous loose on a town-attacked-by-demons thriller, “Attack of the Demons.”

It’s more interesting as DIY animation than as a movie, with inexpressive faces and flat-voiced actors and not nearly enough scripted wit to carry it. Sure, a cute melting skin/peeling-the-skin-off effect and the odd demon beheading can be amusing. But “Demons” is like a blandly-written and drawn horror comic, as lifeless as construction paper.

Barrington is home to a popular Halloween Festival, complete with horror movies at The Tower (theater) and battles of the “horror punk” bands at assorted venues.

Kevin, voiced by Thomas Peterson, is into film and living with his grandmother. Jeff (Andreas Peterson, who also wrote the script) is into “Rodent Rumble” and assorted other video games.

And Natalie (Katie Maguire) is returning to her hometown with her jerky music critic boyfriend Chet and his snide pal Brandon to review a show. They review the small city as well.

“I feel like these waffles are giving me cholera!”

Natalie runs into Kevin and Jeff, people who graduated together but don’t really know each other. Then she heads off to see her favorite band, Teak (“This one’s called ‘Sleeping Trees,’ off our new EP.”). Jeff goes back into the arcade. Kevin?

“Music isn’t your thing? What’s that even MEAN?”

They’re each off on their own when a demon takes to the main music stage, kills and creates recruits (like zombies) and takes over the town. There’s nothing for it but to flee to the mountain, and the old haunted mine, fighting/ducking demons every step of the way.

The immobile nature of the faces takes us back to the early “South Park,” before digitization allowed more malleable mouth-eye-nose reactions. Here, the dull amateurish line readings don’t help.

The friends-making-a-movie vibe that permeates this — Power did the animation himself, guessing the Petersons are siblings — is the most charming thing about “Attack of the Demons.” A wittier script might have allowed that friends DIYing a horror cartoon vibe to translate into something more fun on the screen.

Cast: The voices of Katie Maguire, Andreas Peterson, Thomas Peterson and Eric Power.

Credits: Directed by Eric Power, script by Andreas Peterson. A self-distributed release on Youtube, Vudu and Amazon Prime.

Running time: 1:15

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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