Fantasia 2015: A Review of ‘The Demolisher’

Posted in Fantasia 2015, Festival Coverage, Movies by - July 26, 2015

With The Demolisher, writer/director Gabriel Carrer brings us the cinematic melding of the serene with the severe that pushes boundaries and evokes visions reminiscent of some of the masters of modern cinema.

Bruce (Ry Barrett) is an ordinary man with a huge burden to bear as he seemingly can’t shake the crippling guilt and responsibility that he feels for his wife Samantha (Tianna Nori) a policewoman who was recently crippled in a gang-related assault.  This makes him hyper-sensitive to almost everything as his rage begins to eat away at his mental health and he channels his rage on one woman (Jessica Vano) which gives him relief but shows the frayed edges of a broken mind pushed far past its limit.

Think of this as the art-house meeting the grind house as we get a visual mosaic that is rarely seen in genre pictures today. Carrer doesn’t bathe his visuals in gore and violence but rather lets his fevered dream of a fractured psychosis wash over us with precision that stirs up memories of the early works of Michael Mann and Nicolas Winding Refn.  It’s a meld of lush, hypnotic cinematography, a gripping musical score and powerful performance from leading man Ry Barrett who captures the inherent violence that comes with the breaking of the human mind.

While I’ll be the first to admit that this film with a very deliberate pace and some questionable editing choices that can get a little jarring won’t be for everyone, The Demolisher is proof positive that artistry is still alive and more then willing to bash someone’s brains in should it be required.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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