Satanic – USA, 2016

‘They unleashed the ultimate evil’

Satanic is a 2016 American horror film directed by Jeffrey Hunt (Sleepy Hollow; The Vampire Diaries) from a screenplay by Anthony Jaswinski (Backwoods; Kristy; The Shallows). The Circle of Confusion and Marvista Entertainment production stars Sarah Hyland, Marc Barnes, and Justin Chon.

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Four college coed friends heading to Coachella visit an old Satanic Panic-era true-crime sites in Los Angeles. They end up following the creepy owner of an occult store home, only to find themselves saving a suspicious girl from an apparent human sacrifice.

However, this “victim” turns out to be much more than dangerous then the cult from which she escaped…

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Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“Unfortunately, Satanic has received mostly bad reviews largely due to the high level of cliche moments, characters, dialogue, and unrealistic plot in the first half. However, the moment Alice appears on the picture, the entire movie does a 180 turn into something awesome. The second half of the film is outstanding and, in some ways, feels like a completely different story.” Robyn Andrew, Cryptic Rock

“Effort in some places, carelessness in others, Satanic comes together as a “could have been” movie. It could have been chilling. It could have been compelling. It could have been entertaining. Instead, a slow-to-unfold story populated by hollow people and told via unsatisfying execution has no honest opportunity to cast a hook into the viewer.” Culture Crypt

Satanic seems likes it’s trying to be a throwback to the 1970’s wave of occult inspired films. At the same time it doesn’t seem aware that those films exist and that they did it better. It’s a shallow satanic film as these things go, lacking the accoutrements and ambiance of older occult movies.” Che Gilson, UK Horror Scene

” …empathy is in small order for people who willingly step into thoroughly dangerous situations time and again and are awfully slow on the uptake when they are inundated by inexplicably supernatural occurrences. Satanic almost redeems itself by the tense, mind-twisting finale, but goes limp in its final anticlimactic frames.” Dustin Putman, The Fright File

Satanic teases this twisted, labyrinth-like descent into Hell, but only delivers Sarah Hyland running through a long, abandoned corridor covered in scribbled satanic signs. Then, just as something is finally about to be revealed, we’re met with credits and the whole ordeal is put behind us. A hand. A f#*cking outreached hand is all we get.” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

“This movie really could have been a decent B-Grade supernatural flick had the characters not been so annoying, and had they, you know, actually shown the killings happen on-screen, but as it stands, it’s a bit of a disappointing mess.” J.S. Greer, The Horror Club

“The movie spends way too much time with the build-up, and the third act, while genuinely disturbing, is rushed. Since the characters are underdeveloped anyway, the supernatural elements should have come in much sooner. It also doesn’t help that the other Satanist in the movie are about as intimidating as a hipster on a pub crawl.” Joshua Rohn, Horror News

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

Satanic really isn’t bad at all. Imagine the kids wearing flares and this could easily be the kind of thing Jack Hill was making in 1973 … by no means as good as Mike Flanagan’s Ouija 2, but if you fancy some devil worship stuff with a similar retro feel, then it’s pretty good fun for 80 minutes.” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema

“The whole film felt like a cheap excuse to cash in on the phrase “Satanic panic” and give Sarah Hyland from Modern Family an excuse to add a movie to her filmography. What started as a clever approach to exploring cults and sacrifices devolved into a bunch of nonsensical, generic scares that never really culminated with anything satisfying.” The Wolfman Cometh

“Production values on this one aren’t too bad in spite of an obviously low budget — there’s a graphic throat-slitting scene that’s pretty cool for gorehounds like myself — but it’s not worth sitting through 84-and-a-half minutes of utter sh*t for 30 seconds of “hey, that ain’t bad.” Ryan C., Trash Film Guru

Cast and characters:

Sarah Hyland … Chloe – Scary Movie 5Vampire Academy
Steven Krueger … David
Justin Chon … Seth – Twilight and sequels; Detention of the Dead
Clara Mamet … Elise
Sophie Dalah … Alice
Anthony Carrigan … Anthony
Marc Barnes … James the Hotel Clerk
Stevin Knight … Satanist
Nancy Barcellona … Meth User [uncredited]
William “Will” Daubert … Police Officer [uncredited]
Jeffrey G. Hunt … Yelling Guy in Porsche [uncredited]
Jim Jepson … Tour Guide [uncredited]
Devanny Pinn … Goth [uncredited]

Release:

Magnet Releasing distributed Satanic in North America with a VOD release on July 1, 2016. Buy or rent via Amazon.com.

A British release on DVD was issued by Soda Pictures on 2 January 2017. Buy via Amazon.co.uk

Related:

The Ouija Board: A history and its influence – article

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Categories: 2016, Blu-ray, malevolent child, satanic horror, supernatural

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