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Demonic trailer: Neil Blomkamp unleashes haunted horror (with a sci-fi twist)

The District 9 director's first feature in six years features a demon in a digital simulation.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Neil Blomkamp has made a horror movie -- but of course the man behind left-field sci-fi movies District 9, Elysium and Chappie gives it a weird-tech sci-fi twist. Here's the trailer for Demonic, in theaters and on digital Aug. 20.

Demonic stars Carly Pope (who you may remember from Suits or Popular, depending on your age) as a young woman visiting her comatose mother to try to uncover a terrible secret. Much soul-searching, creeping through haunted houses and being bothered by a razor-fingered demon ensues...

And the sci-fi twist? The traditional horror setup enters a computer simulation plagued by a demon -- which spills over into the real world. Spooky! And a bit '90s!

A fun thing about that is that the film shows on screen the technology that's usually behind the scenes. Apparently Blomkamp and his collaborators use a patent-pending new method of volumetric capture, which scans an actor from all sides and re-creates them in digital form. It's sort of similar to the tech found in the Microsoft Kinect camera for the Xbox, or used by the virtual reality and visual effects industries. 

It's good to see Blomkamp back making a movie after focusing on short films in recent years. There's probably no chance we'll ever see his intriguing-looking Alien movie or Robocop reboot, however.

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