It’s been a while since we’ve heard from director Neil Blomkamp. A full six years since Chappie fever swept the world, the director has kept a low profile, producing a slew of short films, teasing an Alien reboot, and, apparently, a mini-series called Cooking With Bill. All the while, film and science fiction fans remained hopeful that he’d be able to deliver on the promise of his breakout feature District 9.
Earlier this week, IFC Films previewed Blomkamp’s first feature-length picture Demonic, with some behind-the-scenes 8mm footage. The video teases some intense camera rigs, drones, and a mysterious blade. Truth be told, there’s not much info here, but IFC was nice enough to include a plot synopsis, which is perfectly clear and easy to understand. “A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.” Ok.
Blomkamp’s previous efforts, Chappie and Elysium, weren’t out-right bombs, but compared to the genuine phenomenon of District 9, they felt like disappointments, especially from a critical and cultural standpoint. Chappie’s largest footprint is the “that’s chappie” Twitter joke, while Elysium is a movie that even Neil Blomkamp says he “fucked up.” In 2015, he told Uproxx that he “just didn’t make a good enough film” out of its premise. Hopefully, with this new film, which sees Blomkamp moving away from the $130 million production budget of Elysium, he can make something he’s a little prouder of and that audiences can point to and say, “That’s Chappie.”
Demonic stars Carly Pope, Chris William Martin, and Michael Rogers. The film opens in theaters and on VOD on August 20, 2021.