Parents' Guide to

Satanic Panic

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Flat horror-comedy has tons of mature content.

Movie NR 2019 89 minutes
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This horror-comedy might have had the potential to provide shocking delights and ghoulish laughs, but it ends up unappealing and flat, with overly broad attempts at humor and not much horror. That said, Satanic Panic -- written by Grady Hendrix and directed by Chelsea Stardust -- is definitely enthusiastic. But the tones just don't match up or make sense. The movie is brightly colored yet oddly unattractive. In the lead role, Griffith is likable enough but also a little flat; her reactions to the wild things happening around her never inspire tingles -- or laughter.

Romijn tries out an interestingly detached approach to her Satanist character that also doesn't quite click. And her red-robed cohorts feel like something out of a slapsticky sitcom. Slightly better is Modine (from the Happy Death Day movies, which got the humorous/horror tone just right), affecting a snappy patter for her character that at least keeps things moving. But it's Jerry O'Connell who gets the biggest laughs in a brief, doomed role as Danica's not-too-bright layabout husband (he's also Romijn's real-life husband). His "I don't care" attitude is the only thing that breaks through Satanic Panic's overall blandness.

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