The Hagstone Demon (Blu-ray Review)

As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier review, there’s nothing quite like getting a special package of horror flicks for review that you have never heard of. The difference with The Hagstone Demon is that it’s a Blu-ray. Score! Yep, never heard of this one, and the cover art doesn’t do it any favors either, but the description and some of the accolades it has received did peak my interest, but we’re not in it for preference. We have a job to do and we’re gonna do it. Sit back and relax as I bring you a horror film review of something that you may never have heard of – The Hagstone Demon.


The Hagstone Demon is a film that follows Douglas Elmore (Mark Borchardt) who is the superintendent of The Hagstone Building, which is where the film gets its name. Douglas is an ex-reporter who has turned to the bottle for comfort. Given that the film is called The Hagstone Demon, it’s no surprise that their are demons running about in the complex. This is made evidently clear when several of the tenants keep ending up dead. In fact, Douglas seems to be the one that continuously finds them, so what are these creatures of darkness trying to tell him?

Going into The Hagstone Demon, I wasn’t to thrilled, because it looked pretty meh. Of course, this all changed when I popped the Blu-ray into the player. The Hagstone Demon plays it straight and can even be considered one of those genre bending films, if only slightly. Douglas gives us a bit of back story about himself, his neighbors, and what he does. It’s a very noir set-up. His interactions with the tenants are pretty funny, and just watching him lumber about is also quite funny, because he is all beat up.

We do get some flashbacks, in color, which help smooth things out as we continue the progression of the story. As more and more characters get introduced the story no longer focuses on Douglas, but switches gears to these new people. New story arcs develop and we move along with even more exposition. I wish the the film didn’t get so jumbled towards the end, because I really enjoyed it up until those 2/3rds in. Once we hit that mark, it gets a bit on the tedious side. Nadine Cross as Barbara, does really well opposite Douglas and it also helps that she is very attractive. I did not have a problem with her being the female lead. She is strong.

The Hagstone Demon was shot a couple of years ago for $200,000, but looks like it was shot on a bigger budget, because the production design is spot on. This is also incredibly evident when we see the colorized flashbacks – they look great. I’m glad it has gotten a proper Blu-ray release, so that people may get a chance to finally watch something they normally wouldn’t.

It’ an alright film, so I’m giving a three out of five, because it was very entertaining, but I do want to mention that Sphinx cats are creepy and ugly and I don’t like them. Thank you.


The Hagstone Demon is presented in 1080p, 1.78:1, widescreen. The film was shot in black and white, but is unique that when it features a flashback it reverts to color. I don’t think I have ever seen a film do that before – it’s usually the opposite. Well, for being a low budget film, the black and white image is perfectly suitable. I did detect instances of banding, edge enhancement, and a bit of aliasing. It wasn’t distracting, but they were noticeable. The parts of the film that were in color looked great, though. They were bathed in low light and were very warm. A part of me wishes that they had stayed with the color, but oh well.


The Hagstone Demon is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 kbps. Yes, this is not a lossless track, but with its roots planted knee deep in low budget filmmaking, what do you expect? It is what is. The good news is that it’s a pretty cool sounding audio track. Dialogue is clean and clear as are the rest of the channels. The LFE is pretty aggressive, but only when it needs to be. The ambient surrounds really kick up the creepiness factor as they do their job without crossing over to the front stage. The Hagstone Demon is an above average sonic experience.

Special Features

I was surprised to see that The Hagstone Demon came equipped with several special features that are worthy of the Blu-ray format. There’s an audio commentary track with the director and lead actor. We’ve got deleted scenes along with an alternate opening and the best feature on the Blu-ray would have to be director Jon Springer’s 20 minute short film called Dollface. Yes, it’s about a creepy doll, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • Dollface – A Short Film by Jon Springer
  • Commentary Track with Mark Borchardt and Jon Springer
  • Video Interview with Mark Borchardt
  • Behind the Scenes Photos and Artwork Illustrations
  • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Opening
  • Official Trailer

Final Thoughts

Shot several years ago for a pittance, The Hagstone Demon is here to haunt your building in high definition. The Blu-ray features adequate tech-specs, and some cool extras. Watch the short film for something really creepy. Performances are average, but acceptable. We need more low budget horror films like this, so I recommend you check out The Hagstone Demon via purchase or give it a rent. It’s pretty damn good.



Order The Hagstone Demon on Blu-ray!



Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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