Director – Chelsea Stardust (Into the Dark, Under the Bed)
Starring – Rebecca Romijn (Star Trek: Discovery, The Death of Superman), Hayley Griffith (The Loudest Voice, Sex & Drug & Rock & Roll), and Ruby Modine (Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Sacrifices must be made”
I started receiving press release blasts about the film Satanic Panic a few months back and the title alone intrigued me. I absolutely fucking love those television specials from the late 80s and early 90s warning parents about Satanic cults and the dangers of metal and horror movies. The whole satanic panic craze is so insane to me but these television specials are so fucking entertaining. I was hoping the film would be similar to the Satanic scare of that time. When the film readied for a physical release I reached out for a review copy and was lucky enough to get one. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Sam who is working her first night delivering pizza. She takes a delivery at the rich end of town and is stiffed on the tip by a mustached asshole. Her scooter runs out of gas and she is forced to knock on the door for a tip so she can get home but when no one answers she walks around the property. She finds herself in the home while there is a gathering and stumbles into a Satanic meeting and they need a virgin in order for Baphomet to impregnate her and be born of this world. When they discover that she is a virgin they try to hold her against he will for the ritual. She escapes and finds herself with the leader of the coven, Danica’s (Romijn), daughter who knows a thing or two about her mother’s magic. They are able to fight the coven off for a short time but soon fall prey to Danica. They find themselves on the sacrificial alter but soon another demon, Samaziel, is offended that they worshipped a lesser demon. Per the code of Sams, Samaziel frees Sam from the alter before killing the coven mid-orgy. **Spoiler Alert**
I was expecting equal parts horror and comedy that would be entertaining but easily forgettable. Satanic Panic was just that. It was a fun film with some highly entertaining scenes but the movie itself is forgettable. Wal-Mart horror at it’s finest. It doesn’t make it a bad movie, because it’s not, but it just doesn’t stand out among other horror films.
I really liked the acting in this one. It’s so weird seeing Romijn in a film like this but she fucking owns it. Her character is one of the highlights of the film. The same can be said for Hayley Griffith and Ruby Modine. Both delivered fantastic performances and I really enjoyed their characters. Slightly clichéd but still enjoyable. I also liked the supporting cast as well. It was cool seeing Jerry O’Connell and Jeff Daniel Phillips. Both were highly entertaining and brought some humor to the film.
The story for this one is a bit of a stretch and that’s coming from someone that enjoys the no-budget schlocker Thankskilling. I liked the Satanic coven that worship Baphomet angle who capture the virgin pizza girl along with the creatures and magic but the whole daughter knows magic angle was a little goofy and convenient. We are also given several dry scenes as well that are just a little uncomfortable to watch. The dialogue is cringy and these scenes just don’t flow with the film.
Finally, this film is a lot bloodies and gorier than I was expecting. The effects looks fucking great and the kills are fantastic. I also really enjoyed the effects make-up as well. The beast looks fucking phenomenal but painfully generic. Overall, Satanic Panic may not bring something new to the genre but it is still an entertaining watch. I really like the cast and the story has some very fun moments. I highly suggest adding this one to your horror rotation this Halloween season.