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Review: Stylized Action/Horror ‘Demon Hunter’ Exudes Cool

‘Demon Hunter’ Poster

By: J. Carlos Menjivar

Originally titled “Taryn Barker: Demon Hunter,” (and if you asked me is the better title), Demon Hunter stars Niamh Hogan as Taryn the titular demon hunter. The film opens up with Taryn doing her thing in the cover of darkness as she dukes it out with a man, who, well, isn’t really a man, but a demon. Let’s just say it’s another day on the job for Taryn. It doesn’t end well for her opponent as Taryn collects his head, leaving the body for the authorities to ponder over as she zips away on her motorcycle.

This time around, the body leads back to Taryn, and she’s plastered on the media as a callous assassin. It doesn’t take too long before she’s in custody whilst the cops wonder about the whereabouts of the head. As a demon hunter it’s not easy for Taryn Barker to merely admit her clandestine occupation and as expected Taryn is labeled a crazed maniacal killer.

Through her interrogation, we flashback and get a glimpse of Taryn’s troubled home life as a teen; needless to say, it’s less than savory. One day Taryn lets her much younger sister walk home alone from school and ends up missing and ultimately dead. Her guilt is apparent and serves as the inspiration for her demon hunting. At her sister’s gravesite Taryn is warned about a certain individual (or force or being) that goes by the name “Falstaff.” Now Detective Ray Beckett (Alan Talbot), who’s investigating Taryn, must seek help from his suspect as his daughter is now at the hands and peril of the same demonic forces Taryn has swore to take down.

Niamh Hogan as ‘Taryn Barker’

Directed by Zoe Kavanagh (and co-written with Tony Flynn), with energy and flair, Demon Hunter is a fun modern demon flick. Hogan shines as Taryn Barker making her character entirely her own with confidence and attitude featuring shades of Lisbeth Salander from the Swedish Millennium book series and film adaptations. The film zips by with its 85 minute run time, getting right to the point and never holding back on the punches. At times the film feels as if a synthesis between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and John Constantine sprinkled with stylized action; Demon Hunter exudes cool and Hogan carries that torch with equal calm and proficiency. 

The film stars: Niamh Hogan, Alan Talbot, Sarah Tapes Jenkinson, Kevin O’Malley, Nic Furlong, and Michael Parle. Demon Hunter marks Zoe Kavanagh’s feature film debut.

Demon Hunter is out now on DVD and various VOD platforms.

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