HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:64
Horror movies are a staple of the September/October months, and I usually try to watch and review as many as I can get my hands on. The good, the bad, the ugly, it doesn’t matter. As a self-proclaimed horror nut I love em all. Well, usually. Even though there is a ton of fun drek out there, there is also a whole metric ton of complete and unabashed garbage that should never be seen. “Satanic” falls into that category with a plot that would make a high school sophomore grown at the ineptitude and the actors are most likely screaming at their managers for getting them the gig. I am rather lukewarm when it comes to the supernatural, evil spirit, devil in the flesh type of horror films as they just don’t scare me that easily. I tend to find them vaguely humorous and cheesy, but there are a few that really are classics. “The Exorcist”, “The Omen”, “Rosemary’s Baby”. All of those can scare the living daylights out of me, but “Satanic” is not going to be hailed a classic like the above mentioned 3.
Chloe (Sarah Hyland), David (Steven Krueger), Seth (Justin Chon) and Elise (Clara Mamet) are all on their way to Coachella when Elise (a bit of a gothic enthusiast of the dark arts) demands that they stop off in Los Angeles so that the group can do a sort of tourist visit for some of the greatest Satan Worshipping hot spots (think Charles Manson and the like). Chloe and David are a little reticent to visit, but Seth and Elise are a bit adamant. The group stays at the same hotel where a woman killed herself years ago to start off with, and then starts visiting witchcraft and Satan worshipping shops around the city until the kids get bored of the monotony and stupidity they encounter (something I had to experience while watching the movie).
Shifting gears, the 4 friends decide to spy on a group of Satan worshippers out in the boonies and end up picking up a young girl named Alice (Sophie Dalah) who was kicked out of the group they were spying on. Taking her back to the hotel so she can recover, they soon find out that Alice is a bit more twisted and down the dark path than they thought. After following her into a summoning spell, the friends find out that hell is not just a mythical place, and the dark arts are VERY much something to be feared. Especially when you play with things you have no knowledge about.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81657[/img]“Satanic” may be one of the most boring and dull horror films of the last 15 years. I’ve seen some really BAAAAAAAAAAD horror flicks over the years, and really generic ones too. But this one may be one of the most clichéd and generically boring films that I’ve seen. Anthony Jawinski’s script delivers on exactly what it promised, satanic stuff going down and people getting messed up, but that’s not exactly a round of endorsement for the film. Things go down, things happen (albeit slowly), and you might not fall asleep by the end of the film (although that may have more to do with the fact that the movie is only 84 minutes long with credits).
Take a cue from “Satanic”. If you’re going to make a horror movie on a budget AT LEAST make sure you have enough budget to show the deaths on screen. I mean, EVERYONE in the film just dies by running away. You don’t see them meet their fate, or see ANYTHING, except for the person running away and you hearing them scream. For an R-rated horror film that aspect was VERY disappointing. About the only thing we get to see is the last few moments of the movie where Chole is all diced and sewed up and Elise is somehow magically embedded in a concrete ceiling? But then again, I should have expected as much when they can’t even get the budget together to fill a small pool with dead crows and blood (seriously, you have a hysterically bad scene in the film where CGI crows and CGI blood are hovering and floating in a backyard pool that really makes low budget films get a bad rap).
Every one of our main cast is given no motive and painted into their situations for no reason whatsoever. We have very little information on their lives, their characters, their personalities, and instead we’re forced to listen to horribly clichéd lines and hear them act like bratty teenagers (though most are at least 25-30 years old) with banter that would have made me in middle school slightly embarrassed. Elise is wildly embarrassing as the wannabe Satanist poser, while Sarah Hyland’s Chloe is there only to scream at the camera and shriek when anything goes slightly awry. The males aren’t that much better though. Seth is a horny little moron who follows Elise around like a moronic puppy dog, and Dave ends up being the semi likable jock man child. In all honesty. The only interesting thing about the whole movie is the final 10 minutes, which is actually surprsingly creepy for the boredom that came before it.
Rated R for bloody horror violence, language throughout, brief nudity and some drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81665[/img]“Satanic” has a fairly bland and uninteresting look to the 2.39:1 AVC encoded image, but it is still a fairly sound and solid enough transfer. The movie enjoys a lightly golden hued color grading and keeps the color saturation a bit on the low side. Colors show up decently enough, but mostly the dark and grey looking image blends with the golden overtones to create a lightly hazy and desaturation look that borders on being flat. Fine detail can be good, but the darkness is kind of washed out and the sunlight sequences tend to have the white levels blooming a bit and softening the visible detail. Overall it’s a solid enough transfer for a grim and grungy horror film, but the occasional banding and the overall flat looking image keep it from rising above what it is.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=81673[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on board the disc fares just a little bit better, with a little bit of emo heavy metal aggression and a tense score. Dialog is at the focal point of this mix and it is done quite well, with no sounds of distortion or imbalance with the rest of the mix, although there is a little echo in some of the tightly constrained scenes. Though I would attribute that more to the sound mix vs. the actual encode if I had to guess. LFE is deep and pretty hefty, and adds some serious weight to the heavy metal music that likes to play in the background, or the deep overtones of the score. It’s not a wildly nuanced track, as the bass is a tad one note (ish) and the surrounds are only mildly used for situational ambiance, otherwise it’s a fairly straight forward mix.
• The Making Of Satanic
• The Cast
• Special Effects
• Behind The Scenes Footage
• Theatrical Trailer
The supernatural horror genre has been pretty much beaten into the ground, but “Satanic” takes the meaning of “beating a dead horse” to a whole other dimension. There is not a thing in the film that isn’t over acted, or overly clichéd to the point of hilarity. Bad teens making bad decisions and spouting bad dialog while they try to run around and look for a tour of the dark arts in Los Angeles. I usually like a bad horror movie as they are a bit of goofy fun, but “Satanic” is just a chore to sit through. Even for a veteran of the genre and all its known idiosyncrasies . The technical specs for the Blu-ray range from “meh” to “good”, but they are the highlight of the disc nonetheless as the film itself is a train wreck of epic proportions. Personally I’d just skip it and go watch “Don’t Breathe” before it goes out of the theaters if you want a horror flick.
Starring: Sarah Hyland, Marc Barnes
Directed by: Jeffrey G. Hunt
Written by: Anthony Jawinski
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 84 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Buy Satanic On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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