For one female entity time stands still, while for another time travels back and forth between the plains of the supernatural and the earthly horrors of exploitation and murder.
“The Demented” is a 2021 new release from New Blood Entertainment directed and written by Nigel Hartwell. The film features a great cast that includes iconic horror actors Felissa Rose, Ari Lehman, and wrestlers Bret Hart, and Angelina Love.
The film begins with a informational intro that details the reported issues today involving sex trafficking, slavery and murder among women. With over 261K cases we learn that only 2% of the women are found alive with 90% labeled missing and 2% found dead.
It was clear from the get go that while the film is intended to provide shock value per an acted reenactment of sorts (into what kidnap of scenarios are being carried out in the underground), it also was created to provide a fictionalized presentation designed to educate and warn others of this growing issue.
Act one begins with an earlier interrogation between a local detective (Felissa Rose) and suspect Senica (played by Dakota House). Senica’s girlfriend Amanda (Cheyenne Ennis) has gone missing leading up to Senica filing a missing persons report on her. The couple had recently left for a weekend getaway at a remote family cottage in the woods. While at the cottage Senica proposes to her, but wakes up shortly after to find her now missing. This begins a series of events that cut to an unknown masked man terrorizing women.
The interrogation scene references the past occurring 6 months ago. This scene (the interrogation) in particular bothered me purely for the fact that the camera angles used felt wrong as Senica and the detective spoke back and forth (sort of like if they were both sitting on the same side of the room like a couple). It flips back and forth between questioning footage, but both actors are facing the same direction (which normally should have been flipped to simulate 2 people sitting across from the other).
Masked, all in black and wearing a voice distorter, antagonist Chainsaw Jack makes appearances throughout the film as we are shown past events. The scenes injected show Jack filming women bound against their will to a bed as he tortures and rapes them for a local snuff production. The events are pretty similar all involving the kidnapping of adult females who are exploited on camera and then executed.
This plays out throughout the film as we start to get more into the details of the underground snuff operation and the individuals and circuit behind it. In short, snuff has become a profitable online experience that pays rather well resulting in several missing women who are presumed dead.
“The Demented” doesn’t rely purely on snuff situations as it journeys into supernatural elements by incorporating the spirits of deceased females who were victim to the operation. Things escalate as these angry women attempt to interfere with the living and expose the operation.
“The Demented” is a low budget film that while taking on an intense subject still manages to keep the gore light limited to only blood splatter clip insertions. So what we get is alot of “acted” simulations without need for heavy practical effects or racy footage. In all, that fairs well, as the situations are intense enough as is. While “The Demented” is a horror film, it plays more on dramatic performances and circumstances than traveling down the “extreme” route of other films of its genre.
While being extremely disturbing to watch, The Demented still has a purpose beneath the capture and rape moments. As mentioned previously it attempts to bring light to the kinds of events occurring in today’s world that we only get snippets of in local news coverage. The idea of damaged women returning from beyond to inflict payback to the guilty is a nice resolve to the experience bring things full circle. If you are inclined into these kind of films you might want to give it go to support eh efforts of independent film making.