Fantasia 2019: Killer Coven Horror Comedy ‘Satanic Panic’ [REVIEW]
Hosting its International Premiere at Fantasia Fest 2019, Satanic Panic is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Fresh off of her directorial contribution to Hulu’s Into the Dark — episode 8, titled All That We Destroy — Chelsea Stardust brings a cheeky charm to the retro-infused, killer coven flick, Satanic Panic.
The film follows a pizza delivery girl, Sam (Hayley Griffith), who ventures into the rich part of town on her route in the hopes that she’ll score some big tips. When she’s stiffed by her wealthy customers, she sneaks inside to confront their frugal asses and finds herself at the hands of a coven in Satanic ritual prep mode.
Produced by Fangoria with a script written by Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend’s Exorcism), the film embraces its classically inspired camp with open arms. The story is a collaborative effort between Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here).
Hendrix’s whip-crack dialogue slings lines like “booty calling Baphomet“ and “triple faced fuck-monster“, delivered with just the right amount of bite. Much like My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Satanic Panic paints the trials and tribulations of a wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time kind of girl who suddenly finds herself way out of her depth, and does so with a light flick of snappy writing to keep it all from getting too dark too fast.
The cast is peppered with recognizable names like Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, who beautifully blend into the genre mold alongside familiar faces like AJ Bowen (You’re Next), Ruby Modine (Happy Death Day), and Arden Myrin (MADtv). The performances aren’t exactly convincing, but they’re appropriately theatrical for the tone of the film, which settles somewhere between modern raunchy comedy and 70s/80s synth-scored horror. Satanic Panic knows what it is, and leans into it.
Griffith plays her role with honesty and innocence while Modine tears into her quippy dialogue — monologues written with such a fierce flow that you’re hanging on every shit-slinging word. Myrin has an absolute blast with her role as the coven’s covetous right-hand man; her melodramatic outbursts work to turn up the energy of the film. Romijn’s performance as the coven leader is graceful and dramatic, but a lot tamer than you’d expect.
Satanic Panic pays homage to the heyday of practical effects with its own series of prosthetics and rigs. It’s really heartwarming to see the commitment to practical effects, and there’s something oddly nostalgic about some of them. They’re modest and – at times – goofy, but that actually works with the whole ambiance of the film.
That said, at times the film takes itself a little too seriously and doesn’t quite have the confidence to go fully bonkers. It wavers in the realm of light horror comedy, but an occasional dark turn will set a more somber tone. As the action progresses and the situation becomes more dire for our heroine, the easy breezy energy of the opening seems farther and farther away; while this is great for emotional development, it does make the pacing a bit inconsistent.
Despite its inconsistencies, Satanic Panic is really a fun film. It works within its own realm while pushing beyond its borders for moments of genuine comedic absurdity. If you’re in the mood for a modern horror comedy that honors the cult classics of the 70s and 80s, consider this a beast to be summoned.
Satanic Panic is playing as part of Fantasia Festival’s 2019 lineup. For more films, check out their website or keep an eye out for our reviews.
Spirit Halloween Unveils ‘Horror Babies’ Including Ghostface, Pennywise, and More
Spirit Halloween is unveiling the goods a bit earlier than usual this year. For example, these little horror babies that give us infantile versions of Ghostface, Leatherface, Pennywise and Sam from Trick r’ Treat. We were already excited when they announced all-new Killer Klowns From Outer Space items, but these horror babies are making sure that they bring the goods even earlier.
The breakdown of Spirt Halloween Horror Babies goes like this:
- Trick’ r Treat Sam Horror Baby: Equipped with his signature lollipop, this Sam baby will never get fussy – as long as his new family follows the rules of Halloween.
- Scream Ghost Face Horror Baby: Perfect for classic slasher fans, this sweet Ghost Face baby comes equipped with a prop bloody knife for a baby so cute he’s to die for.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface Horror Baby: Featuring his signature mallets, fans will need to be careful to pacify this Leatherface baby if they want to avoid getting whacked.
- IT Pennywise Horror Baby: Straight from the sewers of Derry, this Pennywise baby is sure to give any guests a sweet scare.
Horror Babies are looking fantastic and bring that very cool bit of nostalgia with them. From Ghostface to Pennywise the lineup is looking fantastic.
Each of these hauntingly adorable Horror Baby is available for purchase for $49.99 on SpiritHalloween.com, now while supplies last.
‘Talk to Me’ A24 Trailer is Chilling Us to the Bone With New Approach to Possession
The very chilling, Talk to Me reinvents the possession genre by turning the entire genre on its ear and dropping the beat on the terror. Each moment spent in the trailer is very intense and full of atmosphere.
There is a bit of Breakfast Club combined with this intensely moody possession thriller.
The synopsis for Talk to Me goes like this
When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.
The film stars Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, and Chris Alosio.
Talk to Me arrives July 28, 2023.
Nicolas Cage Plays a Very Wicked Devil in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ Trailer
Joel Kinnaman plays alongside the very wicked Nicolas Cage! Why so wicked you ask? Well cause this time around he is playing none other than the devil himself and he is bringing all of his wicked charm and red hair with it. That’s right, the first trailer for the very off the wall Sympathy for the Devil is here.
Okay, is he really the devil? Well, you are going to have to watch to find out. But, it doesn’t change the fact that this whole thing looks like its a blast out of hell and a ton of fun.
The synopsis for Sympathy for the Devil goes like this:
After being forced to drive a mysterious passenger (Nicolas Cage) at gunpoint, a man (Joel Kinnaman) finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse where it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems.
Sympathy for the Devil arrives July 28, 2023!