Demonlover - The Erotic Crime Thriller of 2002

Demonlover is an inside look into the world of corporate espionage and the human psyche with a high interest on the anime porn industry. Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny, and Gina Gershon combine for a wonderfully delicious female cast. The plot twists and turns as the characters all seem to be out for only themselves and willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Nielsen plays the role of industrial mole and betrayer, Diane, as she works for both the Volf Corporation and Mangatronics. The Volf Corporation is a Paris investment banking venture considering an investment into a Tokyo anime company that wants to further develop Demonlover.com. Gershon is the representative for the sex-violence website, Demonlover, and indie princess Chloe Sevigny rounds out the audience appeal as Nielsen’s assistant. The story takes a violent and horrific turn when Hellfireclub, a website dedicated to erotica as a snuff film, is discovered.

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Demonlover is full of corporate spying, backstabbing, murder attempts, grotesque and violent websites, and of course Japanese anime porn. The film is very artistic and seen wonderfully through the widescreen photography of Dennis Lenoir. He uses the camera angles and depths to create emotions within you as you watch the film. You can feel the intensity in the erotic scenes, the paranoia surrounding the espionage, and the horror associated with some of the online web content. Sexuality abounds within the sex based corporations depicted and the characters themselves. We are shown sexual content throughout the movie whether it is in the form of the websites and pornographic material themselves or the seduction going on between the characters. Diane herself becomes entranced by lesbian porn and then Hellfireclub.

Demonlover is a strong commentary on where our society globally might be headed. Morals, values, and ethics are thrown to the wayside to make room for careers, money, power, and self-indulgence. Demonlover channels Hitchcock resulting in a great erotic espionage story from writer/director Olivier Assayas. Demonlover makes use of the odd world and images created in the Japanime porn industry and to an audience that has never seen these films firsthand, the images of tentacle machines raping and pleasuring young cartoon girls can be disturbing. As disturbing as these images might be however, they do not compare with the gritty flashes that comprise the snuff-like site Hellfireclub. The film actually cut out around 5 minutes worth of these images before being released.

Since Demonlover premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 it has been surrounded by controversy both by the general viewing audience and by critics. This film and the overall vision of writer/director Assayas has often been misunderstood and can be confusing to the viewer as the story unfolds before them. Assayas’ original goal of making a celluloid commentary on the human races lean toward choosing our own self indulgence over the lives of others becomes lost in the various plot twists and predictable outcomes. The first half of the movie is by far the best as you become more and more intrigued by the happenings and future outcomes that begin to reveal themselves. As the story nears the end the overall idea and point begin to get lost and the movie becomes confusing.