Overlook Film Festival, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Portland Horror Film Festival, Cinepocalypse, Popcorn Frights Film Festival, Nevada City Film Festival, Fright Fest, Grimmfest, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival
Hayley Griffith, Rebecca Romijn, Jordan Ladd, AJ Bowen, Skeeta Jenkins, Ruby Modine, Whitney Moore, Arden Myrin, Jerry O'Connell, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Michael Polish, Hannah Stocking, Mike E. Winfield, Clarke Wolfe
Samantha (Hayley Griffith) is on her first day as a pizza deliveryperson, and could really use some good tips. So she volunteers to transport five pies to the distant but wealthy enclave of Mill Basin, where her destination is a huge house with ominous gates. At first, the worst that happens is that she doesn’t get a gratuity on the $100-plus order; then her Vespa won’t start. When she enters the mansion in hopes of receiving help and/or the extra money she deserves, Sam discovers a ritual in progress, overseen by wealthy Danica Ross (Rebecca Romijn). It turns out that Mill Basin’s upper-class residents worship someone who dwells way down below—and that they happen to be in need of a virgin to complete their especially hideous ceremony. Can Sam survive to see the morning, or is the rest of her life fated to be 30 minutes or less?
Despite its title, SATANIC PANIC is not about the paranoid witchhunts of decades past, though there’s definitely an ’80s vibe about the movie from its early scenes. It’s a throwback to the days when cultists devoted to the horned one were all over theatre screens, updated with a knowing sense of humour by screenwriter/best-selling author Grady Hendrix (MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM, HORRORSTÖR), from a story he wrote with Ted Geoghegan (WE ARE STILL HERE). Tart dialogue flows almost as freely as the blood — and there’s quite a bit of the latter, courtesy of makeup effects creator Tate Steinsiek, particularly when Danica decides to appropriate the internal organs of others for her own purposes. At the same time, director Chelsea Stardust maintains sympathy for her desperate yet resilient heroine, and puts just as much emphasis of the survival bonding between Sam and another would-be victim (played by Ruby Modine from the HAPPY DEATH DAY duo). Featuring a very funny extended cameo by Jerry O’Connell, SATANIC PANIC will make you laugh, make you squirm, and add a new word (describing a unique weapon to your vocabulary. – Michael Gingold
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