DIRECTOR: Jeffrey Hunt
WRITER: Anthony Jaswinski
Four friends make a stop off in Los Angeles to visit the most infamous occult murder sites from around the city. After a visit to a creepy occult shop in downtown LA ends in a heated confrontation. The group of friends decides to follow the shop owner into the hills for a bit of fun but little do they realise that they'll witness the darker side of Los Angeles that will throw into motion a series of horrible events.
Growing up as a teenager and still to this day. I'm utterly fascinated with true crime and serial killers. I'm also a huge fan of the paranormal. So colour me shocked when the first act of Satanic is about a group of friends who take a trip to LA to visit all the sites of infamous crimes and murders. I absolutely loved the first act of Satanic as it reminded me so much of me and my mates who like to visit the creepy, strange and paranormal sites from around the world.
The movie had me thoroughly intrigued during the entire first act. I was thoroughly enjoying the scenes of this group of friends travelling around Los Angeles and going to the Sharon Tate house and other famous murder sites. As this is something I would totally do this when I get a chance to visit Los Angeles. The movie had me. I was also enjoying the chemistry between the four friends. While somewhat annoying at times, I was sold on the dynamic of the group.
Once the movie gets our group of friends into the tailgating of a couple of the satanic worshippers into the Hollywood Hills. This throws into motion a series of events that will have our group of friends fighting for survival. This is where I started to see some cracks in the foundation of the film. The movie from this point gets dragged down by stupid character choices and decisions that end up taking the reigns. It's hard to feel sorry for characters who are the catalysts for their own demise.
I think the movie has a few neat ideas up its sleeve, but they weren't all executed well. I liked the idea behind the summoning ritual. The five willing people who are needed to complete it and the idea of hell as a plane of existence which is suffering and confusion. The movie does try its best to give us something a little different, but by the time the film wraps up. I think I was left with more questions than answers. I found that the film has a lot of filler in the second act.
Satanic is a movie that people disregard immediately as making no sense. I think the film and its ending will be left up to interpretation for each different viewer. I have my own thoughts on the overall idea behind the movie. The conclusion is also one that I think will anger people due to said interpretation. I enjoy a nasty ending and fans of Modern Family may be in for a bit of shock. I guess while the film is left up to each viewer. The movie isn't without its loose ends.
The acting is alright for the most part. Main star Sarah Hyland from Modern Family has seen much better days. In time I think she could be a solid scream queen, but sometimes she came across as somewhat cheesy. Clara Mamet and Sophie Dalah were the standouts for me. Sophie Dalah has the most extreme performance in the film. Her ritual scene will be a lot of folks highlight. It's both Justin Chon and Steven Krueger who play second to the girls. The guys come off more like caricatures than fleshed out characters.
Regarding cinematography and visuals, I think the movie delivered for the most part. The movie made me want to book a trip to LA to go occult and famous murder sight hunting. The film looks like a decent size production from the locations and quality of filming. The movie isn't exactly heavy on visuals but does contain a few poorly done and produced scenes involving a pool and ravens that you can tell is the work of some terrible CGI.
Lastly, Satanic on the scare scale isn't very high. I think some loud jump scares will definitely have people jumping out of their chairs, and maybe the ending will have fans of Sarah Hyland shocked and annoyed due to her rather a tame image on the show but the film, for the most part, is light on scares and tension. The abandoned building, warehouse scene at the end is probably the only scene in the movie that ramps up the suspense.
DEATH TOLL: 4
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A woman slices her own throat.
- Stomach sliced open with intestines hanging out.
- A raven is nailed to an Ouija board.
- A pool full of dead ravens.
- Someone is burnt to death.
- A girl is seen melted to a ceiling.
- Someone's arms are hacked off.
- Mouth is sewn shut.
Satanic is a movie that has a few neat ideas at its centre. While not all of the ideas are executed well, and the film has a lot of throwaway scenes in its second act which are used to try and ramp up the suspense, It's not the worst film I've seen in 2016. I had a lot of fun with the film's first act, and the ending is an extremely dark and bleak one. If you want something a little different from the typical slasher, give Satanic a once off watch.