The Devil Made Me Do It: Satan in Horror
Byon Jun 4, 2012
Chiller fans are in for a real treat this week as the Friday premiere is what I consider one of the ten best horror films of the last decade – Ti West’s 80’s throwback The House of the Devil. Supremely creepy, tense as all hell, and fresh take on the babysitter mythos, the film paved the way for the director’s rise to stardom as one of horror’s most gifted up-and-coming filmmakers. It also gives us the chance to take a look at five other films that have Satan at the center of their stories. So break out your pentagrams and your upside-down crosses as we explore some of the devil’s cruelest tricks. And be sure to head over to our Facebook page to tell us your favorite Satan-centric horror movie. There are so many to choose from!
THE EXORCIST (1973)
The granddaddy of all Satan-centric horror films, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist has become an absolute classic of the genre and for good reason. It’s an immensely creepy and emotional journey that not only puts poor little Regan in harm’s way, but also puts the viewer through the very same torture. One of the greatest films of all, The Exorcist also gave us a whole new way of looking at pea soup. “The power of Christ compels you!”
THE BEYOND (1981)
My personal favorite Lucio Fulci film, The Beyond is a batshit crazy flick about a young woman who inherits a hotel and is working hard to get it back into shape and ready for business. Little does she know, her renovation leads to the opening of one of the seven doors of death that resides there. Next thing she knows, her hotel is overrun with the living dead. It’s gloriously gory in the very best way possible.
THE OMEN (1976)
The film that introduced the world to the creeptastic image of little Damien Thorn running amok with his crazy Satan powers. Directed by Richard Donner and starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, The Omen is another horror classic that unfortunately fell subject to a horrifically bad remake in 2006. Trust us and stick to the original.
THE SENTINEL (1977)
Easily the least-known of the films on our list, The Sentinel tells the story of a line of excommunicated Catholic priests that have been hanging out in a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone for who knows how long, sitting by the window, and keeping the demons at bay. You see, that beautiful brownstone is also a gateway to Hell and these priests have been convincing new guardian’s to take over for ages including, eventually, the new resident Alison Parker (Cristina Raines). Michael Winner’s film is creepy to the max and it’s a movie that deserves a resurgence of interest, if for nothing more than to see Burgess Meredith’s genius, harried performance.
ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
Rosemary’s seemingly harmless neighbor Minnie Castevet teaches Rosemary’s Baby viewers an important lesson: No matter how elderly and innocent your neighbors might appear, you can never be too sure that they’re not leading a cult obsessed with seeing Satan impregnate you with his evil hell spawn. Roman Polanski’s 1968 genre masterpiece helped kickstart the Satan-based-film craze with one of cinema’s most hellacious births of all time.
-- Scott Neumyer is a Freelance Writer, Publicist and Photographer. He has written for Maxim.com Complex.com, FEARnet.com, IFC.com, Movies.com, and more. You can find him online at scottwrites.com and on Twitter @scottneumyer.