A girl of about seven years old. Long, wavy, golden blonde hair. Her blue eyes startled with fear. Eyebrows raised high, her mouth wide open in horror. Sweat on her forehead, a gleaming face from exertion. Her teddy bear clutched close to her for apparent protection. Behind her a cellar covered with cobwebs; a scary, dark cave. But what stands in front of her is even more terrifying. Between her and the beast is a closed gate. But in his large, completely hairy hand with gigantic nails, he holds the key. The drawn cover of Bava’s “The Ogre” is sure to arouse interest. Still, the title on this cover was under discussion for a long time. Although “The Ogre” was actually intended for Italian television, it was released as a film under the title “Demons III”. Although the title is now simply “The Ogre,” “Demons III” caused quite a bit of confusion and disappointment. The film is not a sequel to the earlier “Demons” films. It has reportedly been used only as a bait to boost sales. Bava himself speaks of a misunderstanding.
Yet that misunderstanding is not the only disappointment. The cover and summary give a distorted view of the film. Although what it says is actually correct, there is no tension and as a viewer you expect much more from this production than what you get. The film starts extremely slowly. It starts with Charel as a little girl and the filming of her nightmare. Already here you get the feeling as a viewer that it is not really a horror. The lighting is way too bright, which completely wipes away all tension. Even after this beginning, there appears to be no tempo in the story. It just goes on, making the whole thing start to get incredibly predictable and boring. Partly because of this, there is hardly a moment of shock. Furthermore, the acting is not something to write home about and the characters are also extremely superficial. As a result, you as a viewer cannot identify and empathize. Everything is very exaggerated, especially the opinions of the two main characters are very black and white. Incidentally, there are very few characters in “The Ogre”, which certainly does not benefit the story.
Although the ending gets a little better, it sometimes seems a bit more of a comedy than a horror. The depiction of the “monster” is especially laughable. During the denouement there is a bit more pace to be found, but it still fails to involve and captivate the viewer. Since the storyline is certainly interesting, so much more could have been achieved here. The venue was good and even the music could go through with it, as it still created something of an ominous atmosphere. Unfortunately. “The Ogre” is worth no more than a star and a half.