A group of college kids (Sarah Hyland, Steven Krueger, Justin Chon and Clara Mamet) take a detour on their spring break trip to Coachella to check out some Satanic Panic sites in LA. On the way, they make some dubious decisions, meet some creepy characters and accidentally find themselves involved in the mysterious and deadly workings of a cult of devil worshippers.
A fairly slow film that has some good points, but all in all did not contain enough gore or brains to make it anything ground-breaking.
The good: the film boasts a few seemingly practical effects. It also manages to give most of the main characters fairly equal screen time and not pick a particular favourite until nearer the end. The locations are all also very effective and create some nice scenes, and the film has a fun little twist that didn't come out of nowhere, but gave the end a nice kick.
The bad: most of the action happens at the tail end of the film resulting in a fair bit of build up that loses steam a little over halfway before picking up again. Our group of protagonists are also fairly unlikeable losing some of my viewer sympathy. Liking the characters isn't always a 'must-have' in horror, but sometimes it's a plus.
Our protagonists are also a bit dim (again not uncommon in horror films) and make some terrible, terrible life choices which kind of lead them from bad situation to bad situation. Whilst, as plots go, this is fairly fool-proof, it did make the situation of the group of wannabe true-crime extraordinaires seem less tragic when things started to go wrong for them.
While not bringing anything new to the B-movie genre and suffering a little from the pacing, "Satanic" delivered a watchable piece suitable to a slow Netflix night.
[Image: MarVista Entertainment]