When I first heard about Dementer, I knew this was a film that would resonate with me. Something I would connect to. Beyond my writing career, I also have a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Psychology. I’ve worked with people who have physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities for the past 6 years or so both in a group home and independent living setting. Dementer combines both of my worlds together and I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it before.
This thrilling new film was directed and written by Chad Crawford Kinkle (Jug Face). It stars Katie Groshong (A Measure of the Sin, Jug Face), Stephanie Kinkle, Brandy Edmiston, Eller Hall, and Larry Fessenden (Depraved, The Dead Don’t Die). It was also produced by Ashleigh Snead and Chad Crawford Kinkle. Dementer had its World Premiere at The Nashville Film Festival tonight, October 10th.
Synopsis for Dementer
Katie, a young woman determined to do something positive with her life after fleeing from a backwoods cult, takes a job at a center for special needs adults. Desperately attempting to live a normal life, she is overwhelmed by signs that “the devils” are after Stephanie, a woman with Down Syndrome that she now cares for.
Using writings from a strange notebook, Katie creates rituals to ward away the evil while taking care of Stephanie at the center and in her home. But nothing seems to work, and Stephanie is becoming sicker with each passing day…
As I previously mentioned, I’ve never seen anything like Dementer. It’s such an original and unique story that delivers something eerie and remarkable. I can tell how much love and hard work went into the making of this film. Kinkle’s personal experience with his sister and other people with disabilities reflects on the whole film giving it a real and authentic atmosphere while also being truly terrifying. I can’t imagine going into work one night and having to deal with one of my clients being possessed or ill because of demonic forces, but I’d be lying if I said some nights didn’t feel almost as such.
The performances by all parties were phenomenal. Everyone felt real like they could be your next-door neighbor or someone you may see at the store. Katie Groshong is such a fantastic actress and delivered an emotionally powerful performance that shook me to my core. I truly believe she was trying to help, but whether or not she was… is still to be determined. Meanwhile, sweet Stephanie Kinkle was exceptionally awesome in her film debut. I would love to see her in more roles in the future as I think it’s important to represent all types of people from all walks of life in film. I also can’t forget to mention, Larry Fessenden, who is always brilliant and also equally terrifying in Dementer.
This film doesn’t have a lot of blood or gore, but there is some and when shown it’s definitely cringe-worthy. For me though, this film was much deeper than bloody effects. It was about the psychological impact that someone can have on you and how much that can mess with your head. And how far one is willing to go for those beliefs…
Watch this film. Now. It’s hands down of the best films of 2019 and will leave you feeling haunted, well after end credits roll. Dementer is an unexpected gem that I didn’t know I needed in my life. I’ve been a fan of Chad Crawford Kinkle ever since Jug Head, which is a film that I believe is criminally underrated. It’s not like the same, run-of-the-mill ones we typically see time and time again. Proving that Kinkle has the kind of raw talent that we need in this industry. He completely steps his game up, though, with Dementer and I hope we can expect more alternative horror stories like this in the future. I foresee it winning many festival awards.