Friday, May 8, 2020

Satanic Panic (2019)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Satanic Panic (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Aperture Entertainment, Fangoria, Media Finance Capital, CINESTATE, RLJE Films, Double Dutch International
Director: Chelsea Stardust
Writer: Grady Hendrix, Ted Geoghegan
Actors: Rebecca Romijn, Arden Myrin, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, AJ Bowen, Jordan Ladd, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jerry O’Connell, Hannah Stocking, Whitney Moore, Michael Polish, Skeeta Jenkins, Maya Perkins, Mike E. Winfield, Jonas Lerway, Ranger Lerway, Clarke Wolfe, Gina Marie Hughes, Aaron N. Martin

Blurb from IMDb: A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life - and her tips - when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was a high-quality B-horror film.

There are some recognizable names involved and the overall quality of filming was relatively high… but it was just as cheesy and over-the-top as you would want your B-horrors to be.

As much as I tend to enjoy comedy horror, there’s a balance that needs to be met. Satanic Panic just didn’t get there. A lot of the scenes that were supposed to be funny, were problematic at best. I’m not very sensitive to comedy – some really dark shit makes me laugh – but even I feel like this movie crossed a few lines. I wasn’t offended, but I also didn’t find it funny.

Simply put: there were better ways to frame the off-color comedy scenes that would have made the movie much funnier and easier to watch.

Other than that, Satanic Panic had some good parts. I enjoyed the concept and the cheesy acting. I also thought a few of the scenes were pretty memorable.

I still didn’t like it.

Between the issues I had with the unnecessarily uncomfortable scenes in the beginning and the unimaginative ending, I just can’t bring myself to want to recommend this movie. It’s just not worth the watch.

That said, it WAS the first full-length feature film for the director, and I see a lot in Satanic Panic that suggests she will get better with experience.

Cat’s Point of View:
Horror-comedy is my jam. I would still say sci-fi/fantasy and action are at the top of my list, but this sub-genre is a close third. For that reason, I absolutely had to have Satanic Panic in my Top 20 from September 2019; albeit, it was #19.

I’m on the fence about this one.

Mostly, I found that the best funny bits were all in the trailer. 

I was expecting a comedic romp poking fun at cultists and highlighting an up-and-coming female lead. What I got was a film drowning in occult detail and ritual babble, with not enough laughs. I’d almost say that the movie was taking itself seriously; as more of a full-fledged horror without the comedy. It was like the marketing felt wrong.

I almost feel I have to discount that aspect of the movie entirely in order to give it a chance.

If I pretend I wasn’t supposed to be laughing, I’d say that this was a decent horror film. The characters found themselves in what seemed like near-impossible situations. There was blood and disgusting horror elements everywhere. There was even a twist I didn’t see coming. I appreciated how the foreshadowing early in the movie tied in for the final ‘aha’ moment.

All told, however, I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this one again. I wouldn’t try to steer anyone specifically away from it, however. There are just better horror-comedies out there if that’s what you’re in the mood for. If the laughs aren’t what you’re hunting, then it’s fine as a basic horror on its own.

Be careful when you search for this, however, if you have your Shudder service connected to Amazon Prime Video. There is another movie by the same name, from and earlier year, available on Prime. I almost watched that one by accident due to my voice remote finding it in error.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 48%
Metascore – 51/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: R 

Movie Trailer:

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