Friday, 17 July 2015

Demon Possessed (aka Chill Factor)

Everyone knows that a successful product will lead to many imitators, derivatives and straight out knock offs, such as the success of Twilight that lead to countless paranormal romances books and films aimed at teens, or the spy craze of the 60's that started with the James Bond films. But it seems that no where is this as blatant as in horror films, from the slasher boom of the 1980's to the more recent 'torture porn' subgenre that has grown in popularity since the mid 2000's.

But sometimes a single film can inspire a trend and lead to many films been made in a similar vain, such as the classic of demonic possession film The Evil Dead. And if I had to describe Demon Possessed in less than ten words it would be 'The Evil Dead meets the 90's extreme sports craze'.

Also known as The Chill Factor, a title just as bland as the original but unlike Demon Possessed it couldn't be used as an alternative title for The Evil Dead, The Exorcist or countless other works of fiction including the Doctor Who episodes The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit. This is a 1993 film written directed by Christopher Webster, his only directorial credit but he has worked as a producer on many film such as Hellraiser and Heathers, and starring a cast that for the most part only appeared in this film, though a couple have had long carers in other ares of film and TV production.

The film itself is narrated by Jeannie, and older woman now but the story she is telling is of her younger care free days when her and her boyfriend Tom went on a snowmobile holiday with two other couples. Things go south quickly when Tom is injured during a race, at the same time a snow storm blows in and the group search for shelter, eventually holding up in an abandoned summer camp, one rides off to get help. As Tom is resting and the others wait, hopping help will come they find a spinning wheel version of a oujia board and play, dispute Jeannie's protests (and considering she is the only one who knows how to use the damn thing maybe she shouldn't have explained it). Naturally using the 'Devils Eye' as it's called unleashes a demon into the cabin who possesses Tom after he had died from his injuries and then one by one the characters start to die in pretty creative ways, such as one who is impaled through the eye by a falling icicle and another who is cut up by a ceiling fan that lowers itself and comes closer and close to her neck.

The final of the film is a pretty good snowmobile chase with Jeannie and one of her possessed friends, though with the music they choose you would be forgiven if you thought this was the big race to save the Community Hall at the end of a 80's/90's sports film. The film actually does have some weird choices for music, if you misses the opening titles when watching the beginning you might think this was a rom-com or drama, but that been said I really do dig the music in this film, though some of it may not be your standard horror film affair it works and never feels as random as perhaps it should.

Naturally there is an explosive end and a final twist but I have given away enough (but below you will find the blurb from the Laser Disc which pretty much gives the whole game away anyway), this wasn't a bad film, not great and it probably blurs in with many other similar films but I was never bored and I really did find it pretty enjoyable. It is pretty well passed and even though the demon possession itself doesn’t happen till half way though it never felt slow or tedious.  And it's worth noting that both the Demon Possessed and The Chill Factor poster designees are pretty cool.  I recommend waiting for a snowy day, get some friend over and give it a go.

There are a couple off bits in the film though, such as a scene when Tom feels up his sisters ass as both their partners look on with a knowing concern only for it to never be brought up again, or how in the opening narration when it says '...his other friend Chris got engaged to a black girl...', it just feel odd that in the early 90's it would be made to sound like it's still an odd thing for a white guy to be dating a black girl, though I would have been two at the time so maybe I'm wrong.

I looked online but found no into on a DVD or any copy’s of the VHS to buy, all I found was a single copy of the laser disk on ebay, so looks like this one could be hard to track down. Luckily the whole film is on youtube under the title Fator Calafrio (with subtitles but I'm unsure of what language), so if you wanna check it out you can find it there.

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