Director: Chelsea Stardust
Writers: Grady Hendrix (screenplay), Ted Geoghegan (story)
Stars: Hayley Griffith, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Jordan Ladd, Ruby Modine, Ardin Myrin
Satanic Panic has that low budget horror comedy charm that relies more the dialogue than any huge effects and this gives the film some goodwill and occasionally this style of film needs that goodwill to overlook some flaws.
Samantha (Griffiths) is a pizza delivery girl who is on the bones of her ass financially, who after making a delivery and getting a stiffed on the tip, accidentally comes across Satanic worshippers who are in need of a virgin sacrifice. So the setup is great and after Samantha wakes up in a locked room with a stranger (O’Connell), the meat of the story begins.
Chelsea Stardust gives Satanic Panic, a manic, everything including the kitchen sink type of energy and it is infectious. Wearing her horror heart on her sleeve, Stardust and Hendrix have one audience in mind – the horror crowd – and they play to that. You can see call backs to Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead, Fulci influences and to many more too mention. These homages give the film a familiar feel whilst still telling its own story. Sure a few of the ideas don’t work (the Drill-do for one example) but when the film has a good vibe to it, these things can be cast aside.
Hayley Griffiths’ Sam is a great mix of innocence and grit and she gives her all the entire film. Romjin, O’Connell, Ladd, Myrin & Jeff Daniel Phillips are great but it’s Ruby Modine that absolutely steals the show. Her timing and delivery is spot on and her lines are laugh out loud funny.
A debut film that shows all her influences, Chelsea Stardust has plenty of talent and I can’t to see what she does in the future.
Satanic Panic is in cinemas, On Demand and on Digital September 6, 2019
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
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