Review – Satanic Panic (2019) : Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

My third film on Day 11 of the Fantasia International Film Festival was the International Premiere of the US horror comedy Satanic Panic. The film had its World Premiere at The Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, LA back in May and then went on to play in more US festivals in Dallas, Portland, and Chicago. In August, it has upcoming screenings at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the Nevada City Film Festival in Nevada City, CA, the FrightFest in London, UK and then in October at the Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya in Sitges, Spain and last at the Grimmfest in Manchester, UK. 

The film was written by Grady Hendrix based on a story by Grady Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan. It was directed by Chelsea Stardust. It stars Hayley Griffith, Rebecca Romijn, Arden Myrin, Jordan Ladd, AJ Bowen and Jerry O’Connell. The film is co-produced by Fangoria (yeah, the reborn magazine) whose first new production was Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich last year.

Satanic Panic has the following synopsis (copied from the Fantasia website):

 

“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?”

I’ll be blunt: I didn’t hate it but Satanic Panic was pretty forgettable to me. The story was ok but pretty messy in its execution. I did smile or laugh a handful of times (Jerry O’Connell earning the most of it) but the comedic elements mostly fell flat for me. There were a few really cool gore shots but even that is not enough to make the film memorable.

Hayley Griffith did a good job in the main role of the pizza delivery girl and it was fun and unusual to see Rebecca Romijn play with blood and guts. Jerry O’Connell is equal to himself and the rest of the cast is good, I guess. 

It was announced just a few days ago that Satanic Panic will start playing in theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on September 6, 2019. 

I’m giving Satanic Panic a 2 out of 5 Hairpieces!

 

Here’s a trailer for the film: 

#Fantasia2019 #FantasiaFest #SatanicPanic

 

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