Soho Horror Film Fest Matt Mercer Weekend: Dementia Part II, Someone’s At Your Door, and Feeding Time

Suzanne Voss in Dementia Part II

For the second half of the Soho Horror Film Festival’s “At Your Mercer” Shockdown Saturday featuring the films of Matt Mercer, the festival highlighted Dementia Part II. Now, if you were like me, you may have asked yourself, “Shouldn’t I see Dementia Part I first?” The short answer is no. Directors Matt Mercer and Mike Testin made Dementia Part II for standalone enjoyment, and it has nothing to do with Testin’s previous Dementia film. The more involved answer: Testin’s Dementia is still a fun horror film, and if you’re feeling inclined to do the double feature, you can, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy Dementia Part II

Continuing the night’s short films, Buz Wallick’s Someone’s at Your Door uses the template of everyone’s 2020 Halloween of staying in and watching movies as the catalyst for an ensuing home invasion. Teresa’s (Mary O’Neil) night is not going as planned. Instead of going partying with her friends, her costume was delayed, and now she’s staying home to hand out candy and watch some Nicholas Sparks-inspired Hallmark mash-up, which turns out to be a hilariously entertaining joke. As it turns out, someone has been watching her every move all night and using her doorbell’s digital camera. The audience watches as Teresa’s apartment is broken into by a masked stranger (Ivan Djurovic). Taking its cues from HalloweenSomeone’s at Your Door puts its own amusing spin on an entertaining yet shallow encounter that appropriately fits the commensurate intention of the ‘80s slasher genre.  

Sasha sits on the floor with her back to an open cabinet where a pair of glowing eyes watches her
Stacy Snyder in Feeding Time

Matt Mercer goes behind the camera, writing and directing on the last two presentations beginning with his solo outing on the short film Feeding Time. As babysitter Sasha (Stacy Snyder) steps through the threshold to meet her employers Vicki (Najarra Townsend) and Dale (Graham Skipper) before they go out for the evening, she knows something’s off. It could be their affinity for steampunk goggles, their oddly dirty-looking teeth, or maybe it’s their shakily excitable demeanor in otherwise normal-looking surroundings. Soon enough, Sasha is alone on the couch, making plans to lose her virginity with her high school boyfriend who only texts “I love you” in Han Solo fashion. As Sasha scoffs at his lack of response, she begins noticing the home she’s sitting in and the pictures with people that are not who she met in them. Hearing strange noises coming from the baby’s room, she goes to check on the baby and her nightmare begins. Feeding Time is tense, twisted, and fun with a lot of small smart details that really amount to a crippling gotcha moment for Sasha, who is portrayed immensely well by Snyder. 

With an ominous introduction and an ode to Night of the Living Dead, the second feature of the evening, Dementia Part II, tells the story of ex-con Wendell (Matt Mercer) securing work as an outsourced handyman. Wendell is rented out to whoever may require someone that can do small, around-the-house jobs like replacing strenuously out-of-the-way lightbulbs or doing yardwork. On this particular day, Wendell’s been hired to tend to the needs of Suzanne (Suzanne Voss), an older woman who lives alone and very recently has found trouble in remaining perfectly lucid. Suzanne seems nice enough, offering tea and speaking with Wendell about missing her late husband, but the details get worrisome when Suzanne admits to her husband biting her just before his death.  

Wendell listens for Suzanne's breath while both are covered in blood
Matt Mercer and Suzanne Voss in Dementia Part II

Plenty of other things are off inside the house, too. Wendell notices pictures of a woman taped over photo frames and a near confession of murderous intent from Suzanne’s late husband. Before anything can get any stranger Wendell opts to be put to work. Suzanne offers compensation after every task that Wendell finishes, thinking that she’s tipping him ten dollars at a time when in reality it’s one hundred dollars a time. Wendell goes along with it. Things may be off in the home, but at least he can grift a small fortune from a rich old woman.  

The longer Wendell stays at the house, the weirder everything gets. Suzanne begins confusing Wendell for her late husband, asking Wendell to dance with her and to wear her husband’s clothes before pulling a rifle on him when she suddenly doesn’t recognize him. Clues arise that make Wendell question if it’s just old age and dementia that are affecting Suzanne, as this sundowning effect has her progressively looking at Wendell as if he were a piece of meat. Things get further complicated when Suzanne’s daughter, Sheila (Najarra Townsend), and Wendell’s parole officer, Reggie (Graham Skipper), show up at the house. 

Suzanne appears before a mirror, her nightgown is covered in blood and her eyes are unnatural
Suzanne Voss in Dementia Part II

The black and white tribute paid to Romero and the original zombie horror style is largely felt in this low-budget indie, making Dementia Part II an extremely entertaining gross-out horror-comedy with plenty of squirmy moments that are as cringe-worthy as they are enjoyable. Mercer is great. Between the awkward looks of disgust and shock, he plays the role of Wendell amply, but Voss is incredible. Voss’s performance of a struggling older woman succumbing to a rabies-induced zombie-virus is one for the books (or a book, being that there are maybe only a handful of films in that category). She drives the awkward and fear-filled scenes with her deadpan delivery, stoking bigger laughs and better scares. The movie shines because of how well this pair works together on-screen, giving the film a mixture of hilarity and horror akin to The Evil Dead movies.

In what was originally slated to be the last film of the festival, Dementia Part II marks a point of pride for both the film’s crew and the festival. The film screened at the first Soho Horror Film Festival in a less polished state back in 2018 to a very small audience. Everyone else clearly didn’t know what they were missing. Darkstar Pictures has since purchased the film for distribution with a VOD and physical release coming in late Spring 2021. Many films come to festivals to get distribution—that’s not the highlight. The fact that Dementia Part II spent three long years looking for someone to acknowledge its capacity for cult status is, especially when a young festival like Soho Horror was clearly able to see its potential early on. 


As previously mentioned, this was supposed to be the final weekend for Shockdown Saturdays, but because the UK’s lockdown was extended, festival runner Mitch Harrod surprised everyone this week with an extension of the festival, too. Ten more films are going to be shown throughout April beginning with Precarious and El Cerro de Los Dioses this coming Saturday. If you’d like to be a part of the festival, all you have to do is become a member of the festival’s Facebook page and click the links in the announcements section when the films become available on Saturday. All showings are based on local time in Soho, England—check with their website and Facebook page for times (often they leave the links open until Sunday at midnight). The festival is free, but Soho Horror Film Festival is operating solely on viewer support donations and entirely without sponsors. So, if you like what you see, I’d strongly encourage you to support them so we can all indulge in future events. 

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

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