Do we really need another horror film full of moronic teens who, for reasons beyond all sanity, bring a whole lot of supernatural malevolent mumbo-jumbo down upon themselves? Jeffrey Hunt clearly believes that to be the case and so we have Satanic, a film so unwittingly confused and pointless as to be unworthy of generating any emotive response.
For reasons as baffling as they are boring, four spring-breakers have embarked on a tour of Los Angeles’ supernatural hotspots as opposed to heading to Coachella with the majority of their friends. We say friends, but it’s difficult to imagine four of the most irritating human beings ever to be portrayed on film having any, but we’ll let that go for now. At least they’ll be killed soon, won’t they? Won’t they??
After booking a room where someone gorily committed suicide, stalking what they believe is a devil worshipping cult, and picking up a clearly insane waif and stray, the group are having an impromptu party. After some weary pseudo-sexual titillation, their guest goes crazy, spouting prophecies that only end when she slits her own throat. What follows is a spin through various devil inspired clichés before we arrive at a finale as confusing as it is dull.
While watching Satanic may make you feel time has ground to a halt, Hunt has thankfully placed an X-Files-style time stamp on the screen, which at least lets you know the world is thankfully still turning. The problem is, nothing at all in Satanic is either original or interesting enough to make the sub-ninety-minute running time pass with any semblance of fun. The characters, especially Justin Chon’s preposterously stereotypical goth Seth who smacks of lazy writing, are too irritating. For a horror film to work the audience must be able to connect in some way with either the protagonist or the antagonist, whether rightly or wrongly. No connection means no interest, and all you’re now doing is hoping that when they finally get their comeuppance it happens in a bloody and entertaining manner. In Satanic, even that morsel of hope is kept from us.
In a few months, Satanic will be found occupying the depths of Netflix’s genre recommendations, but do not be fooled. This is not a film worth a moment’s consideration. There are just too many teen supernatural thrillers out there to waste time on the bad ones, and this is a really bad one.
SATANIC / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JEFFREY HUNT / SCREENPLAY: ANTHONY JASWINKSI / STARRING: SARAH HYLAND, STEVEN KRUEGER, JUSTIN CHON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW