Director and co-writer Gabriel Carrer’s vigilante thriller film “The Demolisher” is one of the highlights of my coverage of Fantasia Fest back in 2015. While the plot points here and there are sloppily constructed, “The Demolisher” is an overall very good and strong tale about grief, sadness, and delusion that can stem from ones own guilt, in the end. While Gabriel Carrer’s film struggles to find its pacing and momentum in the first half hour, “The Demolisher” does inevitably pick up steam to build in to one hell of an interesting revenge thriller.
Very much in the vein of “Ms. 45,” director Carrer explores the fall out of grief and guilt and how it can leave a stain on our conscience. Ry Barnett stars as Bruce, a man who is tasked with caring for his crippled wife. After being hurt while on duty, she’s left disabled. When Bruce is not caring for his dependent mate, he spends his nights lurking the streets dressed in riot gear, and walks around looking for the gang members that hurt his wife. Director Carrer is able to convey a rich atmosphere within the limited setting of “The Demolisher,” making Bruce a force to be reckoned with, and one whose sanity is slowly unraveling from the moment we meet him. Admittedly, “The Demolisher” might not be for everyone, especially folks that like instant gratification thrillers.
Director Carrer’s film isn’t perfect at all, but it does provide a very solid experience with disturbing violence, and a unique spin on the revenge tale. When Bruce crosses paths with young Marie, he convinces himself that she had a hand in hurting his wife, and begins stalking her. Most of the final half of “The Demolisher” is spent watching Bruce and Marie play a game of cat and mouse. Marie does everything in her power to evade Bruce and battle him, and the tension gradually increases as the film draws to a close. Bruce is a maniacal villain who is a victim of his own psyche and once he and Marie go toe to toe, it adds a fine book end to a solid and often engrossing thriller. If you’re experimental and open to a slow boil character study mixed with a revenge thriller, you’re going to be in for something truly entertaining.
The Blu-Ray from Dark Sky and MPI Media features a nine minute Behind the Scenes segment. There are six minutes of deleted scenes, and a Filmmaker’s Q&A at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival which clocks in at twenty three minutes in length. Finally, there is the original trailer for “The Demolisher.”