Fresh from playing this year’s FrightFest, Satanic Panic arrives on Blu-ray this week courtesy of Arrow Video. Directed by first-time feature filmmaker Chelsea Stardust, and produced by Fangoria, this female driven indie horror is an entertaining and trashy slice of occult nonsense, but at a brisk 85 minutes it never outstays it’s welcome.
Following in the bloody footsteps of other recent horror films dealing with the sinful habits of the one-percent (Get Out, The Purge, Ready or Not), Satanic Panic finds pizza delivery girl Sam (Hayley Griffith) caught up in a class war of a different kind. When she is deprived of a tip by the filthy rich owners of the house she has just delivered to, she sneaks in to confront them. Unfortunately for her, she discovers these rich bastards are all Satan worshippers, and she has just interrupted the opening gambits of a horrific ritual to summon a demon from Hell. To make matters worse, they need a virgin to sacrifice. To make matters even worse, Sam is one.
With tongue firmly in cheek, this camp comedy horror leans into the silliness and delivers a light-hearted blood-soaked romp. The script is never as funny as it could be, and visually it’s all a bit flat and over-lit. The film makes up for this however with some wickedly entertaining and gruesome set-pieces, and two very fun central performances.
Hayley Griffith is excellent as the doe-eyed final girl. Whether dealing with weirdo customers, knocking out a devil-worshipping child, or fleeing from demons, she does so with wry humour and resourcefulness. You’re immediately rooting for this girl. The film’s other standout character is Danica, the glamourous leader of the satanic coven, played with a scene-stealing icy composure by Rebecca Romijn. It’s the sort of performance from a well-known actor that a film like this needs to stand out from the crowd.
Arrow Video releases are always well served with special features, and this is no exception. First up on the disc is The Making of Satanic Panic, a short featurette with clips from the film interspersed with interviews with all the main cast and crew. Girl Power is another short featurette with the cast talking about the experience of working on a female driven horror film.
Sam & Judi sees director Chelsea Stardust, and actors Hayley Griffith and Ruby Modine discussing the two main characters. Also on the disc is a Behind the Scenes reel, which is essentially just a montage of on-set footage cut to the Kaleo song ‘No Good’. Finally, there is the theatrical trailer, and FrightFest intro video recorded by the director.
Cast: Hayley Griffith, Rebecca Romijn, Ruby Modine, Arden Myrin Director: Chelsea Stardust Writer: Grady Hendrix Released By: Arrow Video Certificate: 18 Duration: 85 mins Release Date: 28th October 2019