Demons 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a dated but generally good image.
One prominent problem arose. At the 59:12 mark, the picture suddenly juddered up and down for about 30 seconds. This also briefly impacted the movie on other occasions – like at 28:06 – but it dissipated much more quickly. Though this didn’t last long, it became a perplexing aberration in an otherwise positive presentation.
Otherwise, I felt pleased. For the most part, sharpness satisfied. Some softness crept into the presentation at times, but the majority of the film brought fairly appealing delineation.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain felt natural and I witnessed no print flaws.
Demons 2 went with a largely natural palette, though it leaned blue at times. Colors never stood out as memorable but they appeared mostly well-rendered.
Blacks came across fairly deep and dense, while shadows showed generally solid clarity. Outside of that weird juddering issue, the image held up nicely.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it proved more erratic, though at least it worked a bit better than the mix for the first film. Like that one, Demons 2 favored music, as score/songs spread across the front and surrounds.
Some of this felt a bit heavy-handed, as the music tended to dominate a bit too much, but this didn’t seem like a badly unbalanced mix. Effects also became more involving.
For the first flick, those elements tended to feel largely monaural, but they spread out more in the sequel. The effects didn’t become tremendously engulfing, but at least they added some movement and immersion to the flick.
Unfortunately, audio quality fared less well, as the track showed issues there. Speech tended to sound a bit reedy and dull, while effects could be rough and without much range.
The same went for music, as neither songs nor scores offered much positive impact. Audio quality didn’t seem poor, but it felt blah for its era. This became a pretty mediocre soundtrack.
The Blu-ray also included the film’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack. Whereas that turned into my preferred mix for the first flick, it seemed like more of a toss-up here. Neither appeared clearly superior to the other.
Also as with the first movie, despite the fact Demons 2 featured mainly Italian cast/crew, it appeared to have been shot with English dialogue. Mouth movements matched better for the English version than for the Italian one, though the dubbed nature of both meant inevitable synch problems for both.
I felt this left the English presentation as the better one, especially because Demons 2’s voice acting improved on the bad work for the prior flick. While no one offered Oscar-caliber material here, the English Demons 2 showed voice acting on a par with its Italian cousin.
As we move to extras, we open with an audio commentary from film journalist Travis Crawford. He provides a running, screen-specific discussion of the first movie and its push toward a sequel, cast and crew, the Demons series, story/characters, music, sets/locations and related domains.
Though occasionally screen-specific, most of Crawford’s chat seems more like an “audio essay”. That works fine with me, as Crawford gives us a good view of various subjects. Though he occasionally makes this an annotated filmography, Crawford still delivers a worthwhile take on the movie and those behind it.
With Together and Apart, we find a 26-minute, 36-second visual essay from author/critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. She discusses various aspects of both Demons movies. Given the program’s presence on the Demons 2 disc, it seems a little odd that she spends so much time on the first flick, but Heller-Nicholas nonetheless adds some useful insights.
Four elements appear under “Archival Special Features”, and Creating Creature Carnage goes for 20 minutes, 29 seconds. Special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti chats about his work on the film. Stivaletti covers the subject matter in an efficient manner.
The Demons Generation spans 34 minutes, 50 seconds and brings info from Roy Bava, Trainee/assistant director on the films and director Lamberto’s son. This gives him an unusual and intriguing perspective on the films and his role in the family business.
Next comes Screaming for a Sequel, a 15-minute, 59-second program with Lamberto Bava, as he discusses aspects of his family’s films, his own work, and the creation of Demons 2. Though a little brief for the scope of the subject matter, this nonetheless turns into a fairly informative chat.
In addition to two trailers, we finish with A Soundtrack for Splatter. It lasts 27 minutes, eight seconds and involves composer Simon Boswell.
As expected, he looks at his career and his work on Demons 2. Expect an enjoyable discussion from the musician.
Although the first film became a pretty enjoyable slice of horror, Demons 2 feels less focused and less satisfying. It fails to build off the prior flick and turns into a spotty adventure. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture and audio along with a good roster of bonus features. This doesn’t turn into a bad movie, but it disappoints.
Note that this version of Demons 2 comes only in a two-pack that pairs it with its predecessor, 1985’s Demons.