31 December 2016



'Hell isn't a place, it's a beautiful confusion. And there's pain...'

This is definitely the best film I've seen all year on the theme of Satanism, despite the fact that at least two out of the four leading young actors and actresses are so annoying that you'd actually be tempted to hold a Black Mass in your own living-room to beg Satan to take 'em and kill 'em, haha.

It's the story of four rich snooty glamorous American young 'uns from the social media generation. You know the kind. Can't even take a whizz without posting about it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And everything is all, like, you know, whatever, like totally, and the foul language out of them would give your Granny a f***ing heart attack.

They're touring around California together on their way to posh hipster music festival Coachella, stopping off at various sites where Satanic-style murders were committed because one of 'em is a goth. Black tights and loads of black eye-makeup make her an official goth, obviously, and part of being a goth is, like, you know, trying to get in touch with 'the darker natures' and suchlike. Those poor dopey young 'uns. They have no idea what dangerous shit they're letting themselves in for...

Elise is the blonde slutty goth and Seth is her total jerk-off of a boyfriend. David is the sort of sensible one whose car they're beetling around in, but you'll never guess who his girlfriend is. It's Hayley Dunphy from super-successful American sitcom MODERN FAMILY!

Remember Hayley? She's the cute, sexy pretty Dunphy daughter who likes to shop endlessly for new clobber, wear make-up and flirt with boys while pitying her brainy sister Alex, who wears glasses and actually has a life-plan. Hayley dates Dylan, a good-looking Einstein like herself, and she works in fashion.

Her beautiful long dark hair is sadly cut up to shoulder-length in this film, but she's still gorgeous with the most enormously appealing eyes, and she's actually quite a decent little horror actress as well. Although she's probably already set for life with MODERN FAMILY, I foresee a hugely successful career in horror movies for her if the Dunphy family ever decide to call it a day.

Chloe is Hayley's (or actress Sarah Hyland's) name in SATANIC and she's the nice one with serious reservations about all the Satanic-style stuff her friends want to do, which means that she'll obviously either make it safely to the end of the film or at least she'll be the last to be horribly slaughtered. That's not a spoiler, by the way. You can just tell these things.

Anyway, after taking dopey selfies of themselves outside the house where Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of film director Roman Polanski, was brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson's 'family' in 1969, the foursome visit a little Satanist shop just for ha-has.

There, they see some weird stuff that makes them want to follow the shop's manager after he shuts up shop for the night. He unwittingly leads them to a secluded house in the countryside. There, they witness some even freakier shit that sets the Satanic ball rolling for them in ways they couldn't have imagined in their worst nightmares.

But it's all their own fault, innit? I told them not to mess with the Devil and stuff they don't understand. Oh wait, though. They couldn't hear me yelling at 'em 'cause they're in a movie. I sometimes forget how that works...!

The ending is terrifying, with a very clever little twist that I didn't see coming and was very impressed by. Pretty little MODERN FAMILY has the makings of a pretty decent scream queen, as I've already mentioned, and there are one or two genuinely scary moments in there as well.

The film references Anton LaVey too, a rather frightening-sounding (and frightening-looking!) chap who founded the Church of Satan and the religion known as LaVeyan Satanism. He looks a lot like Ming the Merciless in his picture on Wikipedia. 

He wrote a number of books and even recorded several albums, all concerning his specialised subject of- you guessed it- Satanism. Snigger. Described as 'the evilest man in the world' and 'the Black Pope,' he made a lot of mad boastful claims about himself, some of which have been proven untrue or vigorously denied by others.

My favourite of these is that he was employed as a consultant of all things demonic on the horror movie ROSEMARY'S BABY, a story about a cult of Satanists ironically directed by the afore-mentioned Roman Polanski. He also said he had a cameo in the movie as the Devil who roofied and then date-raped poor Rosemary, but apparently neither of these things is true. Not according to the critics, anyway. It sure would've made a cool story, though, if it were true.

He did, however, 'mainstream' Satanism and witchcraft and all that jazz in America and elsewhere from the 1960s onwards (the way that author EL James brought spanking and bondage kicking and screaming out of the darkness and into the light in her FIFTY SHADES OF GREY trilogy of books), and I love that he comes up in SATANIC. It gives the film a nice gritty authenticity, the way adding certain spices or seasonings to a meal can beef it up a bit. Capiche?

The film is out on DVD in the UK on January 2nd, 2017, courtesy of the jolly folks at SODA PICTURES (A THUNDERBIRD COMPANY). Would I recommend that you buy it? God, yes, and watch the living hell out of it, pun definitely intended, haha.

I'll leave you with my favourite quote from the film, apart from the one on which we came in. Happy New Year, folks, and don't go sticking your noses where they don't belong. I'm sure the kids in the movie would back me up on that...

Seth, the dopiest of the dopey teens, as their dopey-teen-mobile enters Los Angeles:

'LA, spread your legs...!'

(Yeah right, sure, Seth. Whoever LA is just about to be f***ed by, excuse my French, it sure as shit ain't gonna be you...)


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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