A Demigod or A Demogorgon? Who’s Knocking in Mile Doleac’s Latest?

14 Oct

1By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Oct 15, 2021
Seattle-Tacoma at Varsity 3 and select theatres nation-wide (USA)
Coming to VOD 

The Black Forest in Germany cannot be any deadlier in Miles Doleac’s Demigod. There are a lot of simple constructs to like, and even a terror that’s appropriately nuanced at the start before needing to make a full on screen appearance. This actor and sometimes director have a few films made under his wings. Although similar to Hallowed Ground, what’s changed is that the protagonist meets up with an inhuman rather than Native Americans protecting their sacred land.

Robin (Rachel Nichols) and Leo (Yohance Myles) are headed to her grandfather’s cabin to take care of a few things since he’s passed away. Unaware of this woodland’s history, they don’t realize that there could be trouble. After a tense encounter with a hunter (Doleac) and his daughters, they’re suddenly dealing with witches. They summoned the beast some years ago. It’s easy to see he’s mightier than Hercules, and those red piercing eyes… 

Technically, this work is a play on the Cernunnos figure of Celtic legend. While the mythical figure’s role is quite ambiguous–there’s no surviving tales featuring this horned god–the cinematic version often talks about the hunt, and how he will cleanse the world. This figure has a one track mind. The legend is likened to Satan, which is entirely accurate, and these crones–inspired by the works of Brothers Grimm–hope their devotion will be paid in kind.

This film sticks to slowly delivering a tense atmosphere to build up to that final confrontation. I’m glad this director doesn’t fully present him at every turn until absolutely necessary. It does fall into the trap of being very much like Predator (any film), where we’re seeing a story of human survival and only one human can survive. 

While this film only scratches the surface of the kinds of supernatural terrors that can lurk in the woods, I’m hoping Doleac can explore this region with more stories and build to a shared universe. Many filmmmakers are doing it, so why not jump aboard this particular bandwagon? It doesn’t have to be about demons. The Black Forest is reputed to be the home of many ghosts, a headless horseman and fae too!

3½ Stars out of 5

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