Demonologist for Hire is an award winning Scottish supernatural comedy web series which follows the wacky escapades of ‘The Demonologist’, in a world where creatures like ghosts and werewolves aren’t just a verified fact, they are normal. I had a chance a while back to interview the creator of the show (who also plays the main role) and you can check that out here. Also if you want to check out what I thought of season one then click here.
S2E1 – Exorcism For Beginners
I’m not sure how most people feel about the warnings of violence etc, before videos but I actually quite like them, I feel they serve a purpose and lend credibility to a production. That being said what I really liked about this one was the distinctly Scottish voice delivering the lines. My first impression of the actual episode was that I was genuinely excited to find out what happened, I mean it started with such a measured pace, two characters walking up a set of dilapidated stairs, its dark, it builds tension subtly, the music, the framing all serves to perfectly emphasise foreboding. The quiet, the characters not speaking, the building music as they approach the man tied to a chair with a bag over his head, it’s all excellently filmed, easily the equal of big budget productions. However despite having a mastery over suspense, they aren’t afraid to be funny, I especially liked the little meta joke when ‘The Demonologist’ first enters the room. Overall this episode has a lot of great moments, all packed into a surprisingly short run time, it ties in well with the Joe Caxee and his Haunted Taxi series that is itself a spin-off from Demonologist for Hire (and I will attempt to review in the next few weeks), and also connects the first episode of the second season with the first episode of the second. It’s very clever and very well done. I give this episode a 5/5.
S2E2 – Danger, Dana, Doppelgänger!
When I review, I watch something once, and take notes, and then watch it again while writing up the complete review, so before I move in to the specifics I want to say that I liked this episode, it was well acted, well shot, but what attracted me most was the core idea, I’ve always loved the use of doubles in entertainment, it’s a subject that endlessly fascinates me so even of the bat this episode engendered some positive feelings. That being said I didn’t let it rest of those laurels, because it was a genuinely good episode. It again much like the previous episode balances brevity, humour and building tension to deliver a whopper of an episode. A personal highlight of this episode and one which demonstrates the above well, was Joe Caxee’s speech about enduring the demonic entity. I give this episode another strong 5/5.
S2E3 – The Case of the Residential Evil
This episode has Eric Potts, a very talented Scottish actor in it, you’ll recognise him from something over the years such as Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Still Game or Doctor Who to name a few. So this episode is off to a good start already. I also really liked the cold open (that is to say the part of the episode before the title sequence) for this one, I mean not a lot happened but it nonetheless really got me ready for this episode. Oh and while I mention it, I love the intro, I’m not sure if it’s deliberate or not but the subtle Stranger Things feel works well, but overall it’s just a really stylised and creative intro that is short enough not to eat into the run time of the episodes. Personal highlight (pardon the pun) of the entire episode was Caxee (played by the awesome Ronni Menzies-Stirling) asking if Gary’s property was insured against spontaneous combustion, it was super funny, and believable within the context of the established characters. Also props to the makeup person on set (who YouTube tells me is Sara Adamson) for the subtle makeup on Caxee, it shows without being too obvious about it that he’s still not fully recovered from his ordeal. Also Bryn Owen as The Demonologist has just the right blend of absurdness, charm and a devil may care attitude to make the character work, I’ve enjoyed each performance so far immensely. I think what I like most about this episode and the series as whole is that it’s capable of being serious, and clearly a lot of skill, effort and talent has went into it, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it can be campy, and silly and in less deft hands it might not work, but there isn’t a joke that doesn’t land, in my opinion at least. I give this episode a 5/5.
S2E4 – Stage Fright!
In a weird coincidence, I’ve worked with New Hellfire Club, in fact probably wouldn’t even be writing this blog if they hadn’t given me a place to start, Jamie and the lads that work there are so awesome and it was really cool to see the Ice Box Arts & Music Centre where this was filmed on screen. Anyway though the editing for this episode, especially right at the start was truly phenomenal, it had such a great cabaret feel to it, and made for a really strong opening sequence. This episode did nothing to make me any less wigged out by puppets though, even though he looked like a cuter version of Waldorf from the Muppets. Again I am amazed at their ability to balance the surreal and silly with a nice bit of dread, it’s truly a real talent. I also like the trend of The Demonologist being more or less inconvenienced by his clients. Another 5/5, and the end to what has been a fantastic season.
So that’s what I thought of season 2, you can check it out for yourself by following the links to the individual episodes, or by heading over to YouTube. Make sure and also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit their website for more information.
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