Demon Tongue (2016) poster

Demon Tongue (2016)


USA. 2016.


Director – Gavin Rapp, Screenplay – Vicky L. Neal, Producer – Dan Mahon, Photography – Joseph Stammerjohn, Visual Effects Supervisor – Rick White, Special Effects Supervisor – Cody Ruch. Production Company – Walk the Sky Productions/White Collar Pictures.


Debbie College (Chloe), Jessica Long (Madison McDermott), Jack Davis (Jacob), Seth Gontkovic (Ethan), Jeff Monahan (Professor Harris), John W. Iwanokiw (Mr Scott), Carrie Shoberg (Carolyn)


A group of four students from the university are hired as ghostbusters and travel to the Gators Grille in rural Glenshaw, Pennsylvania. The owner wants them to examine the premises as customers are being driving away by reports of the ghost of a barman who committed suicide. As they begin their investigation, they discover that the bar was built on a site where back in 1987 a mother murdered her husband and children and then set all of them, along with the arriving cops and entire house, on fire. As the group investigate the ruins, Chloe becomes possessed by a demonic force that speaks the Stygian tongue, a precursor to Latin.

Demon Tongue is the third film from Pittsburgh-based director Gavin Rapp who had previously made the thriller Trapped (2009) and the non-genre autobiographical Since I Don’t Have You (2013).

The title Demon Tongue makes you think of a far more wilfully absurd film than the one we actually end up getting. We had previously had Killer Tongue (1996) about a possessed tongue. I expected a far more (I have to say it) tongue-in-cheek film than that. Instead, what we get is far more mundanely the use of the word ‘tongue’ in the sense of referring to a language – in other words, not a film about a possessed tongue but one about an ancient language that was purportedly spoken by demons.

There is one scene that sort of justifies the demon tongue approach where the possessed Debbie College takes Seth Gontkovic underground and then turns and attacks him, her face manifesting a giant proboscis that could be described as a tongue but Gavin Rapp demonstrates no more interest in taking this approach after that point.

Demon Tongue is routine in every regard. The set-up involving teams of amateur ghost hunters armed with video cameras has been done to death, especially in Found Footage films of recent, not to mention a whole host of reality tv shows. A measure of the cheapness of the production is that the EMP meter used by professor Jeff Monahan is actually an iPhone. The acting of many of the cast – all unknowns – is not terribly good. The photography and directorial set-ups leave even more to be desired.

Trailer here

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