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Zak Bagans' documentary 'Demon House' is too much hooey, not enough boo

Zak Bagans' documentary 'Demon House' is too much hooey, not enough boo
Zak Bagans in the documentary "Demon House." (Freestyle Digital Media)

Zak Bagans' documentary "Demon House" is essentially an uncensored, overlong episode of his long-running Travel Channel series "Ghost Adventures." And while this particular "paranormal investigation" may terrify the more credulous among Bagans' fan base, skeptics are likely to feel bored and confused.

The movie's title refers to a Gary, Ind., home that Bagans bought after it became infamous for multiple eerie incidents. For the doc, he explores his new property with a film crew and interviews people whose lives have been in disarray since encountering this place.

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"Demon House" leans hard on nonfiction TV techniques. Between the dramatic reenactments and the slick-looking establishing shots, Bagans plays and replays any scrap of footage that seems provocative or freaky. Any bold sound bite or unexplained shadow gets slowed down, enhanced and over-analyzed.

Given that this film was made by someone who has spent over a decade in showbiz, the storytelling's oddly muddled. There are pointless digressions and needless repetitions, and some of the sincerely concerned witnesses and commentators are undercut by scenes around the house that look staged — even if they may be real.

Worse, Bagans keeps insisting that events in "Demon House" illustrate how evil spirits pass from person to person, and he uses this hooey to explain actual human suffering. He even warns viewers not to watch if they're concerned about demons reaching them "through electronic devices."

Turning this movie off before it starts is actually a good idea: not because it's dangerous, but because it's lousy.

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‘Demon House’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood

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