Demon House: interesting addition to the genre

Kara Green, Staff Writer

Demon House was a documentary released on March 16, and was played on the Travel Channel officially on January 1. Demon House is a documentary about a house in Gary, Indiana that was directed by Zak Bagans. Bagans is a renowned paranormal investigator who gained popularity from his show “Ghost Adventures” on the “Travel Channel”. I really loved this documentary because of the plot, genre, and detail.

The plot of Demon House was one that has been the basis of horror movies for years. There is a demon in a house who is haunting a family. This happens often enough in fiction but this story was based on fact. The story begins with Bagans hearing about the infamous haunting of the Ammons family at their home in Gary, Indiana. After hearing that the family moved out due to the haunting, the investigator buys the home. The documentary follows Bagans as he talks to people who have been influenced by the house. During his filming, one of the interviewees attempted suicide, another had total organ failure, and even Bagans himself experienced painful events. Several of the original assistant filmmakers quit during the process. One of the cameramen had a paranormal experience that was so severe that he never recovered. The film was stated to have taken three years to fully complete. The plot was incredibly detailed and very in depth.There were layers to the story and at the end Bagans even did an update on what everyone from the film was doing.

The genre of the movie was not what I expected. I am a person who loves to watch documentaries. Demon House, however, was a different approach. The story was told with interviews and professional opinions which were done well. However, horror is not a genre that is normally represented through documentary. Usually it is done through fiction to scare an audience or bring suspense. The genre helped make the real situations and interviews flow into a story that was believable for someone who is skeptical and factually interesting for someone who is a believer. I enjoy both documentaries and horror films so seeing them combined in this film was a new taste of something good.

The best part of Demon House was actually the details. The documentary could have been easily passed off as a “Blair Witch Project” style fictional account but it was almost impossible to do with the amount of detail put into the film. For several of the events that he was not a part of, Bagans was able to get recordings of events such as video or voice recording of an exorcism. When he did not have video or recording of something he would have actors act out the scene that was being described. The acted out scenes accompanied by the scenes of the real coverage made the film much more scary and also more believable. The devil’s in the details is definitely true in this documentary.

Overall, the plot, genre, and details made this film something that I was pleased to watch. I am not a person who gets scared at horror movies or thrillers anymore and this one got under my skin. It was genuinely terrifying film that I wanted more of once it was finished. I highly recommend this to skeptics and also to horror fans. 5/5 stars.