Montreal Premiere
Septentrion Shadows

Satan Wants You

Directed by Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams

Hosted by Directors Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams, Producers Michael Tanko Grand and Melissa James, in conversation with Kier-La Janisse.


Official selection

SXSW 2023
Hot Docs 2023


Steve J. Adams, Sean Horlor


Michael Tanko Grand, Melissa James


Steve J. Adams, Sean Horlor


Blanche Barton, Charles Ennis, Ken Lanning, Sarah Marshall, Charyl Proby-Austman


Blake Davey


Mark Dolmont


Graham Kew


Game Theory Films

Canada 2023 88 mins OV English

“A shocking and insightful documentary unearthing... the disturbing memoir which acted as the catalyst for the Satanic panic wave of the 1980s”
– Josh Korngut, DREAD CENTRAL

“Doesn’t just unveil disturbing truths behind a bygone era; it’s a cautionary tale for our current age of rampant misinformation”

In the ’80s and ’90s, an immediate fear swept North America. Satan was everywhere, sullying everything from music to movies and the daycare around the corner. Satanic ritual abuse was frequently reported — parents, clergy, and political officials rang the alarm every chance they could. But where did this Satanic Panic start? Award-winning directors Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams take us on a never-before-seen journey, launching from the 1980 book Michelle Remembers, a memoir written by Michelle Smith, a Canadian woman, and Dr. Larry Pazder, her psychiatrist. Under the care of Pazder, she infamously recalled suffering childhood ritual abuse at the hands of her Satanist parents. Using archival footage of talk shows, new reports, and in-depth interviews with those closest to the controversy, Horlor and Adams break into the mystique of these reports of ritual abuse and the fervour it created.

First-hand accounts from Michelle’s sister Charyl, Pazder’s daughter Theresa, and his ex-wife Marylyn reveal their experiences with the phenomenon that rocked the nation, and experts from law enforcement, academia, and the Church of Satan itself give their perspectives on this unforgettable moment in recent history. And in an investigative coup, the directors received exclusive access to the original tapes of Michelle’s regression sessions — an eerie look into mania and a moment in time thought to still be alive with connections to QAnon conspiracies. It’s no surprise that SATAN WANTS YOU took the festival circuit by storm, striking a chord with moviegoers as many were introduced to more than just a sensational headline. Now it’s time for Fantasia audiences to be mesmerized by the engaging weaving of timelines and interconnected experiences, and shocking outcomes. Canadian premiere includes a post-screening Q&A with Fantasia’s 2022 Canadian Trailblazer Award winner writer, director and producer Kier-La Janisse, and copies of the 2015 book SATANIC PANIC: POP-CULTURAL PARANOIA IN THE 1980s will be available. – Carolyn Mauricette