The Best Unrated ’80s Apocalypse Horror From Multiple Genre Masters, Stream Free Now

By Brian Myers | Updated

Italian filmmakers have given horror fans some of the most graphic movies ever produced since the late 1960s. Combining masterful storytelling, haunting imagery, and chilling cinematic scores with the most grotesque creatures and kill scenes caught on film make these horror masters ones that will haunt the dreams of audiences for quite some time. One particular entry wove the talents of famed director Lamberto Bava (Macabre) with gore’s legendary screenwriter/filmmaker Dario Argento (Suspiria) to give audiences the unforgettable Demons movie.

A Film Within A Film

Demons 1985

A film within a film, Demons follows a group of people at a theater who were lured there by a masked man giving away free movie tickets. As the ticket holders clamor into their seats, one audience member is badly scratched by an ornamental mask in the theater lobby. Still bleeding, she settles in to watch the film that is playing out on the screen.

A Murderous Mask

Demons 1985

Demons shows that the movie playing at the Metropol theater is a graphic horror film. The audience in Demons see a group of teens sneaking into a cemetery late one night to dig up the grave of the French seer Nostradamus, only to find a mask and book instead of a body inside his coffin. The mask on the screen looks to be the same one that scratched the face of one of the women watching the film, which turns out to not be a coincidence.

The audience in the Metropol watch a film where one of the actors puts the mask from the grave on his face and turns into a maniac. As he brutally murders his friends on the screen, the woman with the scratched face goes into the theater bathroom. Blood still running from her face, the woman morphs into a demon similar to the one her friends are seeing on the screen.

On-Screen Demons Terrorize The Theater

Demons 1985

Demons has the terror play out on the rest of the movie theater audience in the most gory fashion imaginable. Capable of infecting others and transforming them into demonic creatures, the woman attacks. As the patrons try to flee, they find themselves trapped inside the Metropol movie theater as someone has bricked up all the exits.

Demons plays on audience fears of claustrophobia and infectious diseases, trapping its panicked characters in a building where they are hunted down and killed one by one, only to become one of the very creatures that murdered them. The movie plays out like a zombie film set in a theater, only instead of lumbering hordes of the undead stalking the players there are cunning demons as the antagonists.

Fantastic Score And Soundtrack

Demons 1985

Demons not only gives fans one of the creepiest cinematic scores to come out of Italy, but also packs in some great songs for its movie soundtrack. Fans of 1980s metal will have their ear-holes filled with hits from Billy Idol, Motley Crue, Accept, and Saxon.

Stream Demons For Free

Demons 1985


Demons experienced moderate box office success in Italy and the United States. The movie’s inclusion of Argento and Bava gave it a pretty strong cult following, too, and the film is still highly regarded as one of the best horror entries from the 1980s and beyond.

You can stream the Demons movie for free on Pluto or Hoopla. To take an even deeper dive on this movie, check out the GenreVision podcast.