Very often styles of horror films are geographically based. American, Italian, British, Japanese, even Mexican horror films often have a distinctive style that is heavily influenced by the culture and history of the filmmaker’s home country. I suppose the same could be said for Finnish horror, if I had seen more than one Finnish film, horror or otherwise. That lone example of the cinema output of Finland is Sami Haavisto’s Succubus: The Demon.
Following the sudden death of his beloved bride just weeks after their wedding, Henri has spent the last two months in despair. His entire life has stopped as depression and drinking have take over, until the visions start. The visions which may or may not be dreams start Henri looking for answers to his wife’s death. When the normal course of inquiry fails Henri turns to the occult for help. As Henri delves deeeper into the occult he discovers more about his late wife and her death, as he looses more of his soul and humanity.
One name kept creeping into my head while watching Succubus; Ken Russell. Director Sami Haavisto seems to be heavily influenced by the British director of The Devils and Altered States. It is only a shame that Haavisto in nowhere near the visual director that Russell is and the entire production has an amatuerish feel to it. The film isn’t bad but pales in comparison to almost any contemporary product from anywhere in the world. The gore effects are not likely to impress anyone who has seen any horror film made in the last 40 years. But despite all of it’s flaws, Succubus: The Demon has an earnestness that keeps the viewer watching through the film’s heart breaking climax.
The DVD reelase from horror and exploitation masters Redemption/Salvation films is the quality that one expects from this label. The film looks nice with a widescreen transfer and is accompanied by several featurettes that actually enhance the appreciation of the film. There are also the customary still galleries and Redemption trailers.