Satanic full movie review - 40 minutes of cringe, followed by a surprisingly creepy 40 more
What else is there to say of this movie? The first 40 minutes is one of the worst things I've ever sat through, and if I didn't have an open mind, I would have shut it off before it could get any better.
I remember seeing this somehow make the front page on this very website, despite its utterly despicable Photoshopped poster, and silently vowed never to watch it. However, my curiosity got the better of me when I found it on Netflix.
As the title of this review indicates, the first 40+ minutes of the movie feature an annoying and punchable group of teenagers (or early 20-somethings? I don't know) on their way to Coachella (FREAKING COACHELLA), taking a detour along the way at the insistence of the heroine's goth sister to see the "dark side" of California, visiting several occult and Satanic hot-spots, including the Church of Satan and Sharon Tate's house, where she was murdered by the Manson Family, and staying in the hotel room where one Layne Gore (such a cringeworthy name) killed herself in ritual. Eventually, they come upon an occult bookstore and meet some Satanists who they trail, suspecting them of doing some pretty nasty stuff behind closed doors.
When they find them in their rural hideout, it appears that they were right, as they find the Satanist they met in the bookstore undressing a woman and holding a knife to her throat, and they interrupt them in the middle of the ritual and allow the woman to escape. They locate the woman the next morning and offer to take her in since she has nowhere else to go. She turns out to be the sole likable character in the entire movie, and the only Satanist who comes across as articulate and doesn't act like a dick ("LaVey was a fraud" is probably my favorite line in the whole movie). When they take her back to their hotel room, she reenacts Layne Gore's ritual and slits her own throat to take herself and the four main characters on a journey to Hell.
That's where the movie very nearly does a 180, though it's still terrible and the characters and dialogue are still cringeworthy. From that point on, "Satanic" is actually fairly creepy. But not creepy enough to make up for the waste of time that the first 40+ minutes or so unsurprisingly were. And for a movie called "Satanic", the goth sister sure screams (quite annoyingly) "Oh god!" a lot.
Overall, the acting was okay to me, but I would not recommend this movie based on the first act alone.
2/10 (and that's being generous)