FOR WE ARE MANY ** UK 2019 Dir: Lawrie Brewster, Andrew Ionides, Brad Watson, Paddy Murphy, Carlos Omar De Leon, Matthan Harris, Dane Keil, Mark Logan, Mitch Wilson, Keith Robson, Gavin Robertson, Alex Harron, Thomas Staunton. 80 mins
Fourteen separate segments make up FOR WE ARE MANY, in which thirteen filmmakers around the world were asked to make a film about demons of all kinds. To that end, the framing story – directed by Lawrie Brewster (from whose production company, Hex Media, this emerges) – features what may be Death, providing the movie with its Biblical title (“My name is Legion, for we are many”) before requesting a mortally wounded King select a suitable candidate from a book of demons to protect his kingdom. The bite-size horror tales that follow vary in quality and length, offering an assortment of demonic figures, an Amicus-style array of greedy / duplicitous bastards and cameos from minor horror celebrities (Eileen Deitz, Nicholas Vince). An American husband brings home a pair of weirdo Arkansas religious cultists for dinner with his heavily pregnant wife; Laurence R Harvey’s shirtless horny butler steals a tale of a gold-digging couple preparing a resurrection ritual; a busty succubus turns into an ancient hag a la THE SHINING; a pair of vampiric adolescent killers cause mayhem; a psychic female spy is stalked by a grinning, train-dwelling demon; and a live-streamed junkie endures an interrogation-cum-exorcism. Too many of the stories lack a satisfying or surprising pay-off, typically falling back on cheap gore and weak reveals – and there’s a little too much rubbish no-budget CGI blood, gore and glowing demon eyes. A structural oversight results in two found footage stories playing back to back, though at least the format allows them to get to the punchline 95% quicker than the other 784 found footage demons-in-the-woods horror movies released straight to Asda this year. Along the way, there are creepy dolls, EC Comics-style ironic twists, clawed monsters and one-show-stopping Fulci-inspired eye gouging. Some of the episodes are more engaging than others – though it’s doubtful you’ll remember any in the morning.
Review by Steven West
FOR WE ARE MANY is available to buy HERE