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November 4, 2013

Movie Review: Demon Hunters: Fear The Silence (2013, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Before I start this review I think it's important to state what I consider to be an "independent film". Those two words are thrown around more often then I like. To me a true independent film costs less then 30K to make. To me that's the true spirit of Indie film, it means the filmmakers did it for a passion of movie making. They didn't do it for the fame or the glory or the money.

Demon Hunters is one of those films, a true Independent gem. Made for next to nothing, the film takes a high concept and does it on a shoe-string budget and actually pulls it off. So many filmmakers have had their hearts in the right place but failed to execute. Usually due to sloppy screen writing or iffy acting.

I'm happy to report that Demon Hunters for the most part avoids all of these pitfalls by smartly setting the action in basically one location. It also doesn't take itself seriously at all which is refreshing to say the least.

The film starts off simple enough, a group of peeps are waiting for their bus to arrive. Problem is, the bus ain't coming because the driver had his throat torn out. The killer happens to be a very nasty looking fellow clad in a leather jacket and a black hoodie who has a very nasty skin complexion and some gnarly claw hands. Well our hooded demon shows up at the bus stop and ends up pissing off one of the commuters who confronts him. Let's say it doesn't end well for the sorry sap.

The group panics and are chased into a local office building, which is pretty much the spitting image of Dunder Mifflen from The Office. Except instead of paper this place sells printers. They should be safe enough but sadly for them the building is infested with demons. Luckily for them though a group of demon hunters happen to be present and save their asses. To say much more would give away the fun surprises this film has in store for you.

Let me say I was really surprised with this film. Truthfully I'm a tough judge when it comes to true independent films... I've seen my fair share of clunkers made for no budget. Crimson, Snow Shark, 4 dead girls, Fear the woods and well... it hasn't been the greatest year for Independent horror.

But Demon Hunters is refreshing for many reasons, the biggest... the film has a sense of humor. The film knows what it is and it boogies with it's concept. If played perfectly straight this film could have been a disaster so it was a smart move giving it a sense of humor.

The casting was another strong point. Everybody digs into their parts, Rob Dimension (Of No Clowning Around fame) plays the asshole you love to hate. They give him easily some of the films best lines, he spends most of the film pointing out how absurd everything is. I give Dimension credit, usually the "funny guys" in these films tend to drag em down but Dimension lifts things up.

The true scene stealers are the actors who actually play The Demon Hunters.  The head hunter is Jacob (Brian Gildea) a man with a troubled past, he's the most serious of the group who's quite skilled with a knife. Then we have my two personal favorite characters of the film. Eugene "Buzz" (Bill Wilusz) a character who enjoys employing his Samurai sword (He would make Zatoichi proud!) & Charlie (Kofi Nsafoah) the martial artist of the group.

These two guys are a joy to watch and reason enough alone to see the film. They have a playful banter back and fourth of trying to one up each other. Almost think if Riggs & Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon) were demon hunters... then you'd get these two.

Both of these two actors also contribute to what gives this film the re-watch factor. The action... oh boy is the action awesome. Action on a budget is a tough thing to pull off, it relies on good choreography, actors who can sell throwing a punch or a kick and another actor who can sell taking the hit. Anyone involved in action films will you, the person taking the punch is pretty much the most important aspect. Now it's no secret, my passions are action films and horror films, this combines both. I mean we get some great gunplay and solid squib work, some stellar samurai sword action and the fist fight finale involving Buzz and the head demon is realistic and hard hitting.

Now once the action starts up it doesn't stop, you don't have to worry this isn't one of those films were the characters wander around for an hour before something happens. The flick runs a smooth hour and twenty six minutes.

What makes me like the film even more is that it was shot in Jersey (I'm a Jersey boy) and the fact that it was shot over a period of 2 years. Let me explain that last part, for a group of actors, a director and crew to remain faithful to a project for that long means they are doing it for the right reasons. It means it's a passion project. This wasn't a film made so the actors could make a quick buck. You can tell everyone put their hearts and souls into the process of making this film and it shows on screen.

The direction by Debbie Higgins is nothing short of outstanding. The flick was shot on digital but you could have fooled me at times. Higgins smartly for the most part avoids hand-held camera and focuses on long tracking shots, dolly shots and steadycam. This gives the film a profesional vibe that is lack from most of it's ilk.

The cinematography stood out as well. For a film that took place in one location it should have looked boring. But Higgin's makes sure to cram in something in every scene to keep your eyes interested. Also the film didn't suffer from any of the usual hiccups of middle-end digital. AKA no digital noise, no blown out white levels and the depth of field was surprisingly strong.  I was surprised I was watching a DVD and not a Blu-ray since the details and the colors really shine in this one.

I have a feeling this film is going to be a big hit at film festivals. It has a bit of everything. Horror, humor, gore, action, samurai swords, martial arts, gunplay, zombies... only thing it's missing is nudity but I can forgive that. 

Well, if you couldn't figure it out... I enjoyed the hell out of this picture. It's a true independent gem, sure to please action/horror junkies as well as your casual horror fan. The flick comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Bring on Demon Hunters 2!

For more information on the film head on over to the films official site & Facebook page.
Demon Hunters FB page


  1. Is it true they didn't give one of the photographers credit for a good portion of the work?

    1. It is true. 80 percent of this film was shot, directed and written by Chris Eilenstine.

  2. The film was 80% directed by Chris Eilenstine. Why was this not mentioned in an unbiased review- of because this review is not.