Hollywood@Home: Satanic

No stars are born in "Satanic," just the usual direct-to-video horror nonsense.

No stars are born in “Satanic,” just the usual direct-to-video horror nonsense.

The makers of “Satanic” were actually on to something briefly. It’s a horror thriller with some interesting elements and a nice twist halfway through. But, it’s where the film goes after the twist that makes it just another direct-to-video “B” horror flick.

So, let’s talk about the good points. Ultimately, there are no new ideas in the horror genre. So, I was mildly interested in the notion of four millennials on a self-guided tour of L.A.’s most devilish attractions. You know, the hotel where a witch killed herself or a place where some terrifying murder happened. Since one of our quartet dresses like she’s into the black arts, it’s completely believable that these Colorado young people would drive all the way to LA to take a very non-commercial tour of the city’s haunts.

I enjoyed the documentary-style fonts used by the director to make it seem like all these places were real. Hey, it had me wondering if it was really possible to come up with some kind of tour like this.

Our young people (Sara Hyland, Steven Krueger, Justin Chon and Clara Mamet) check into a hotel room where a satanic ritual had occurred in the past. They also visit a black arts store and spark a dustup with a creepy looking clerk.  Later, they decide to follow the clerk to his home, where a blood-letting, involving a mostly naked woman, is underway. The woman escapes and becomes a key part of the narrative shortly afterwards, and that’s where I’ll leave it. You might actually want to see this movie at some point, and I don’t want to give too much away.

Suffice it to say, that everything to this point is satisfactory, more or less. Then comes the really nice plot twist. Then it all falls apart. It’s like the writer didn’t know where to take the story next. Everything that follows is just gross-out nonsense. With a little more work and a better script, this film might have clicked. Instead, I recommend giving “Satanic” a pass. Don’t want you to get burned. Grade: C

Welcome to the Hotel California, not really. But, these kids get into some devilish mischief in "Satanic."

Welcome to the Hotel California, not really. But, these kids witness something very strange in their Los Angeles hotel room in “Satanic.”