A man wrestles with his past and a demonic force in the latest film from indie filmmaker Harley Wallen.
At a local party at the home of couple Richie and Cassidy, Cassidy decides to liven up the party by inviting Vesna, a New Orleans-based medium and psychic. At first, Vesna performs simple tarot readings. However, the skeptical Richie is convinced that everything is fake. To prove Vesna is the real deal, Cassidy decides to hold a séance. During the séance, Richie’s past comes back to haunt him but while he still is not only skeptical but upset because part of his past was revealed, something more powerful may have pushed through.
Vesna fears that something of massive power has pushed from the spirit side to the human side. She calls on her partner Zeb to help. Meanwhile, Cassidy, Richie, and their friends slowly begin to experience some strange things. Richie’s past comes to haunt him slowly as it is revealed that as a teenager, he was forced to kill his father after witnessing him attempting to kill his mother. As Richie and everyone begin to experience strange things, including his mother coming from a mental institution to visit him, Zeb knows that the demon Agramon has entered the human side and it is up to him to help everyone stop Agramon before more havoc is wreaked upon.
As a recent fan of indie filmmaker Harley Wallen, he has become a force to reckon with as he is slowly becoming the American equivalent of a Takashi Miike or an Andrew Lau in terms of genres to work with. His latest film is a demonic film that shows Wallen’s style of filmmaking, where he unleashes some twists and turns throughout the film that keeps the viewer intrigued and once again, Wallen makes excellent use of the cast, who churn out great performances here.
Laurene Landon, a genre veteran, makes the most of her screen time as Sharon, the mother of Richie, whose traumatic past leads her to a mental institution. She comes in at the just the most pivotal moments of the film, where things begin to unravel. However, the two to really look out for are Kris Reilly and Kaiti Wallen as couple Richie and Cassidy. Reilly, who made an excellent villain in Wallen’s Abstruse, goes a complete 180 as a skeptical man whose past comes back to haunt him as he and his wife begin to get the most affected by the titular demon, who haunts Richie in the form of his late father, played by Yan Birch, another genre veteran who appeared in Wallen’s sci-fi/action film Eternal Code.
The filmmaker himself tends to play important supporting roles in his films and once again, he champions the role of Zeb, a Cajun medium whose partner Vesna, played by Aphrodite Nikolovski, is the one who accidentally invoked Agramon’s spirit and becomes haunted herself. Zeb is the one who discovers the demon as well as attempts to find a way to help everyone stop the beast. Wallen’s pacing is well done as he doesn’t resort to anyone being killed right away but rather bring sporadic jump scares and haunts before the “fun” begins.
Agramon’s Gate is a well-paced demonic game of cat-and-mice film that makes good use of its cast and sporadically unleashes the terror at the right moments with Wallen’s trademark of inserting more twists and turns that sets the tone and pacing just right.
WFG RATING: A-
Midnight Releasing presents a Painted Creek Production. Director: Harley Wallen. Producer: Harley Wallen. Writer: Harley Wallen. Cinematography: Michael Kettenbeil. Editing: Alex Gasparetto.
Cast: Kris Reilly, Kaiti Wallen, Laurene Landon, Yan Birch, Harley Wallen, Aphrodite Nikolovski, Francisco Posada, Angelina Daniella Cama, Whitney Wagner, Jessika Johnson, Alexandra Glenn, Kayla Kelly, Mason Heidger, Calhoun Koenig.