Daemonium – available on Netflix (spoiler light)

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Daemonium
A film in Spanish
Subtitles in Arabic, English, French and Polish. Closed Caption in Spanish.
1h 55mins
Available on Netflix.

Starring
Dany Casco
Walter Cornás
Caro Angus

Directed by Pablo Perés

This is a film made in Argentina. Filmed in Spanish it is presented on Netflix with subtitles in a range of languages.

Daemonium is a film set in an alternate world where magic is real and seeps in from ‘elsewhere’.

The story follows three major characters. Razor, a mercenary trying to better his life for himself and his family. Fulcanelli, a wily magician with a handy pack of cards. Rebecca, a mysterious young woman with several identical ‘siblings’…

I came across Daemonium in 2013. At that point it was a two part series on YouTube. Each part was free standing and could be watched in isolation.

My introduction was via Jared Butler who runs Wasteland Weekend, a Post Apocalyptic themed film festival in California. Jared voiced Judge Dredd in the Fan Film Judge Minty and recommended Daemonium to me.

I watched Episode 2 first and then caught up with Episode 1. I was hooked and lapped up the subsequent episodes.

Episode 2 focuses on Razor, he’s the character we follow in to the story and the one we empathise with. He is in the hire of Cortes who is providing private security for Montalbán, a politically minded businessman of questionable ethics. Fulcanlli is a very unwilling participant in Montalbán’s scheme.

Episode 1 was set a little later in the story. I was glad I saw it in the order I did actually. Rebecca mentors a young girl who looks remarkably similar to her in the art of Demon slaying.

Episodes 3 and 4 expanded on the cast and gives us deeper insight in to the main characters.

The version on Netflix is a feature edit. It retains the full story of the YouTube series while feeling very much as though it was intended as a feature length film.

The characters are well fleshed out and their needs and wants are clearly demonstrated. The plot has twists and turns with plenty of surprises.

Violent at times to a degree some may find shocking it is also sprinkled with humour.

The production values are outstanding and I’m sure most people watching Daemonium for the first time on Netflix will assume it is from an established Argentine production company. More on that below.

I reviewed the YouTube series and I know that somr of my readers went on to watch the films. I also donated a small amount to the funding by purchasing a tocket to a fundraiser to see Episode 3 in Buenos Aires in the presence of Cast & Crew – even though I live in Britain and couldn’t possibly make it.

Along the way I chatted with Dany Casco who portrays Razor and co-created the film. I also spike to some of the others involved in the project. Their enthusiasm and passion was infectious. Dany showed me many of the props for Episode 3 and 4 as they were made.

By now you may have realised that this production was put together as an amatuer movie. It took Dany and his enthusiastic team 5 years to complete. Funded almost entirely by those involved and with everyone having to make a living elsewhere.

Yet here it is on Netflix.

I spoke to Dany Casco about the transition from YouTube to Netflix.

Daemonium was originally pitched to Netflix with the help of an Agency as a series but was rejected. Later it was picked up as a feature edit. As with major distributors the film was included in a block purchase for a three year period.

Dany has had a slightly mixed feedback about the film. All reviews he has seen agree with me regarding the quality of camera work and film craft. The contention is almost always regarding subtitles the length of the film, almost two hours, makes it a problem to some.

I mentioned this subject in my first review of the YouTube series. I prefer subtitles as it gives more feeling to a film if I hear itvas intended by the film maker. I think culturally English speakers (I’m British) shy away from subtitles, whether I ubderstand the language or not (I have basic Spanish knowledge roughly to High School level as a foreign language following years of night classes but now very rusty).

Dany agrees, he says “I love Akira and Ghost in the it is Shell in Japanese. It is a cultural thing. Here in Argentina my generation grew up with VHS movies, all subtitled.”

I also asked Dany what was next.

He is currently having Script meetings for a new film. He describes this film as Horror/Action with the best comparison as “an AVP style of film”. Watch thos space on that one.

He’d like to bring a sequel to Daemonium, or more accurately a new story in the same setting. However given the 5 years hard work on Daemonium and the quality Dany and the team acheived it is a big ask.

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