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  • Demons

    Singapore | 83 minutes | English, Mandarin, Singlish | English subtitles | Format – DCP

    • In Competition for the Kim Ji Seok Award; A Window on Asian Cinema section; Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) 2018
    • In Competition for Caligari, Teddy, C.I.C.A.E., Peace Film, Amnesty International Film, and Ecumenical, FIPRESCI, and “Der Tagesspiegel” Readers’ Juries Awards; Forum section; Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival 2019


    Aspiring actress Vicki thinks she has gotten the role of her life in Daniel’s new play. But her debut lead role only casts her into endless torture at the esteemed director’s hands. When she turns to supposed allies for support, Vicki finds that they encourage Daniel’s abuse as part of her artistic growth and his genius. Feeling like the only mad person in sunny, sinister Singapore, Vicki takes matters into her own hands. A wicked, satirical horror on power, art, and trauma, Demons exposes the hidden violence we live with to build any community.


    Trauma creates a rupture; you split into two — the person you were before experiencing the trauma, and the person after. From here on out, you can never go home again. Your home has become a nest of vipers. Your own self turns against you; it taunts you, shames you, humiliates you; and when you least expect it, it attacks you.

    Trauma makes you become the absolute other to yourself. You will never feel safe again. All you have for company is silence — the silence of regret, the silence of complicity, the utter failure of words.

    And so you make a film. Everyone has demons. This is a story of mine.


    Daniel HUI is a filmmaker and writer. A graduate of the film programme in California Institute of the Arts, he is one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, a critically acclaimed independent film collective in Singapore. He has made three feature-length films — Eclipses (Pixel Bunker Award for International New Talent, Doclisboa IFF 2013), Snakeskin (Special Jury Award TFFDoc, Torino FF 2014; Award of Excellence, Yamagata IDFF 2015; Special Jury Mention, RIDM 2015), and Demons (In Competition, Kim Jiseok Award, Busan IFF 2018; Berlinale Forum 2019).


    Vicki – YANG Yanxuan Vicki
    Daniel – Glen GOEI
    Viknesh – Viknesh KOBINATHAN
    Ashley – Eshley GAO
    Assistant Director – TAN Bee Thiam
    John – Daniel HUI
    Strange Woman – Violet GOH


    Written, Edited, and Directed by Daniel HUI
    Produced by TAN Bee Thiam, Daniel HUI
    Executive Producers: Paul BEACH, Violet GOH
    Co-Producer: Naoko ISHISE
    Associate Producers: Dan KOH, LOOI Wan Ping, Glen GOEI, Jeremy CHUA, Joana GUSMÃO, Pedro Fernandes DUARTE
    Director of Photography: LOOI Wan Ping
    Sound Recordist: Alex HERBOCHE
    Sound Designer/Sound Mixer: Akritchalerm KALAYANAMITR
    Music Composers: Wuttipong LEETRAKUL, Akritchalerm KALAYANAMITR


    Country of production: Singapore
    Production companies: 13 Little Pictures, Ultraviolet Films
    In Association with: Jackfruit International, Tiger Tiger Pictures, WBSB Films
    Running length: 83 minutes / Colour, Black and White
    Year of release: 2018
    Language: English, Mandarin, Singlish
    Subtitles: English
    Screening format: 2K DCP
    Aspect ratio: 1:37 Academy Ratio
    Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound 


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    “[U]nmissable…a work of a dedicated cinephile, visually and narratively outstanding…The film is sure to stay with the audience long after”
    – Maja Korbecka, easternKicks

    “Demons is a spectacularly unsettling accumulation of diverse and fragmented images, techniques, sounds and themes. It clearly has a point to make about the environment that produced it, as well as the men who continue to overpower this landscape. It need not be understood entirely, and that is also part of its beauty. It is dark, grotesque and simply absurd, with a wonderfully wicked sense of humour.”
    – Fenja Akinde-Hummel, The Upcoming

    “Even harder and more virtuoso, Daniel Hui from Singapore jumbled up the genres. Demons begins as a painful #MeToo drama in the theatre milieu, slowly transforming into a history of revenge, combining the driest satire with ghost scare and B-movie splatter. A young actress gets a role with a renowned director. Even his cutting comments in the casting show: The collaboration is torture. Sexual oppression and attacks are becoming increasingly obvious. At the same time, the film becomes more and more tangled – and draws from it a power that goes beyond the alleged simplicity of history. Hui interweaves the elements even more complex and enigmatic than Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin Film). He cuts faster and more confusing between the levels and times back and forth – and can very skillfully create a suction, which leads to a bloody, metaphysical finale. The imagery has only a naturalistic appearance at first – the further the film progresses, the more artificial it looks.”
    – Fabian Wallmeier, rbb24

    “Stories-within-stories-within-stories also form the weird fabric of Daniel Hui’s Demons, a hallucinatory, near-Lynchian evocation of contemporary Singaporean psychosis that centers on power dynamics in a theater troupe.”
    – Travis Jeppesen, Artforum

    “Daniel Hui builds a film pervaded by an archaic sense of restlessness, primordial as the tribal statuette in the house of the protagonist, from a Lynchian anguish.” 8/10
    – Giampiero Raganelli, Quinlan




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