Fresh from seeing this movie and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised. Certainly not spectacular, especially given the large quantity of jump scares, but for the first time in years I found myself genuinely terrified at three particular moments....which is three more than have scared me in any other horror film since two years (and I watch most horror films I can get my hands on).
Albeit misplaced, I admit I loved the comic relief 'horse and pony show'. Lin Shaye's character however... not so much. The script she had to work with was IMO beyond laughable. Loved the music. The old hag is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Loved the red faced demon and especially how in his lair his character suddenly went from utterly terrifying to downright CRAZY. I'll never be able to look at Tiny Tim in the same way again. A nod to Sam Raimi no doubt and for me this worked, absolutely.
Where I felt the film went rapdily downhill was when the dad and the demon have their little interaction. The words 'anti climatic' just don't do it justice. I honestly cannot fathom what was going on in Whannel and Wan's heads at the time of putting that part together, other than "uugghhh, we've reeeeeally dug ourselves into a hole with this scary maniac demon character and there's nothing we can do except...uuurrrhhh...hey! How about make him kinda lame all of a sudden! That'll work!" Sorry but my suspension of disbelief couldn't stretch that far. Unless they make a sequel featuring the demon back on fighting form and more pissed off than the three headed dog of Hades after someone stole his squeaky chewy bright coloured ball, I'd call his character wasted potential. It just got worse and worse after that, and the ending itself, although successfully creepy, was nevertheless visible a mile off. Again, I'm holding out for a sequel if only to clear up the mess that was the third act.
All in all however I enjoyed it more than I disliked it. For a $1million made movie, I'd say it's quite impressive. And sure it's derrivative in numerable ways, but aren't most things? I'd give it 7 out of 10.