Director: Jeffery Hunt
Running Time: 85 Minutes
“From the director of a few episodes in a few cool series but no real feature length film experience, and the writer of 6 other things but you’ll only recognise The Shallows; starring that kid from Modern Family and no-one else you’ll care about.”
Four completely unlikable 20-somethings are making their way to Coachella. On the way the decide to make a stop in L.A. and check out a few true-crime hot stops. They stumble upon an occult specialty store, which leads to an altercation between our canon fodder and the store manager. These four dipshits decide to follow the manger after he closes for the day and see where the sleuthing takes them.
They happen upon what appears to be a satanic ritual of some kind. Fearing for the life of the naked girl before them, they interrupt the ritual, and the girl is able to escape. After meeting up with the innocent sacrificial virgin, they take her in but get more than what they bargained for, when the each start dropping like flies.
Performances & Special Effects
On the whole, the special effects were actually really good. I was impressed with the throat-slitting scene and the colour and consistency of the blood. The only drawback was that there weren’t very many scenes which used these special effects. The film relied heavily on ambient noise and disembodied character voices. Not that this is a bad thing, but in this case it was extremely ineffectual. I was extremely disappointed that the final scenes did not show a full-bodied version of the “Devil”. You only see a hand. I feel like the producers ran out of money and were like: “no, a hand will be fine but make it a great hand!” A lot of the scenes were actually reminiscent, if not stolen straight from, Ouija.
The performances were atrocious. Every single protagonist was completely unlikable and full of shit, but in different ways. Sarah Hyland should stick to sitcoms, Steven Krueger was the most useless boyfriend stereotype, with no backbone and too little macho for what was required of the character. Also, there was this attempted “meta” moment when Krueger’s character mentions wanting to got stop at the Two and a Half Men house, more than once. Only upon checking his IMDb profile did I realise that he had been on the show. It was a waste of plot, and no-one cares that you were once in a deadbeat sitcom.
Justin Chon and Clara Mamet were by far the worst performers in this offering. They came across as juvenile and belligerent for absolutely no reason, other than their clear “alt-style”. It’s a tired trope and really should be retired by filmmakers. I wanted them to die last and horribly.
This film is an interesting case. It tried to do too much but ultimately did too little. The characters were uninteresting and dull, the dialogue was drab, the lore was entirely unexplained, deaths were uneventful and no-one got to go to Coachella in the end. Hell is described as “a beautiful confusion” but this is never fully explain in dialogue or action. I think they tried to explain it but it was lost in translation. Also, I’m really tired of pentagrams being used of symbols of satanic worship. Please can we move of and try some new symbolism is films?
The best thing to come out of this film was the final scene, where Hyland is trapped in a room with just a cellphone for light and she screams almost continuously. I was watching this at about 10pm on a Saturday night, with my front door open. Apparently, the screaming was reverberating of the walls of my apartment complex, scaring all my neighbours and freaking their kids out.
This film reminded me of Ouija time and again. The only difference was that Ouija had a PG-13 rating, while Satanic was rated R. And even with the R-rating, it managed to be less entertaining than a kids’ slumber party movie.
My rating: 2/5
Buy or rent Satanic at Amazon.
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