Saturday, December 2, 2017

SATANIC (2016) [Paul's Review]

Hey fucktards!  Yes, I mean you, fucking goth troll dick.  Don’t be such an asshole, megabitch.  God, you’re such a prick, cumball.  Bro, I mean goth snobs.  Blow cock.  No, blow devil cock.

All of the words in the previous paragraph are spoken at some point by the terrific cast of characters in Satanic.  Being some percentage Irish, I appreciate a strong and habitual exercise of swearing: in jest, in argument, and sometimes just in exasperation at the universe.  However, I gotta admit, even I was starting to feel a bit Annie Wilkes halfway through this one.   It would not be out of character for any of these angelic youth to go to the store and demand F-ing pig feed and ten pounds of that bitchly cow corn.

Interestingly, the only word that anyone raises an eyebrow to is “pussy.”  Not “cumball.”  “Cumball” is fine.
  
Why so much profanity in the world today?  Why can’t we fucking get our shit together?

Did you know that “fuck” is the only word that you can use in almost every grammar position?  My linguistics friend explained it all to me, but I forgot how the fuck it goes.  Just so you know, “fuck” is a special word, and Satanic fucking fucks the fuck out of it.

Not just a lesson in creative obscenity, Satanic is also about four twenty-something Coachella-goers who go to L.A., see the sights, get involved in a satanic ritual and never make it to Coachella.  It’s a fucking nightmare bro.

Two of them are a preppy frat/sorority couple.  Early on they are called a “fucking Apple commercial.”  They swear like eighteenth-century sailors with the clap.


The other two are a goth couple into Satanism and the dark arts.  They swear like the prostitutes who service eighteenth-century clap-ridden sailors.


Seemingly, the only thing holding this ramshackle preppy-goth double date together is that the two girls are cousins.  “I can’t take this frat boy nonsense” goth girl exclaims when the ouiji board mysteriously spells out “BJ” in response to the question: “What do you want?”  And later, preppy guy calls them “goth snobs” for not wanting to see a taping of “Two and a Half Men.”  It would seem that mutual unfollowing is in their collective future.

But more surprising than the fact that participating in a Satanic ritual turns out to be a bad idea is the fact that these four seem to have really great chemistry!  Here they are at a beach!


Here they are looking at the Hollywood walk of stars!

There’s something endearing about their odd-couple friendship.  It blossoms out of their shared and vigorous use of the Anglo-Saxon elements of our venerable language.  Their bro-ey jocularity draws them all together.  All together, that is, with the notable exception of Chloe.

Chloe is the preppy girl.  At the beginning of the film, she’s the one holding the group together with her sunshiney smiles and let’s all have fun attitude.  She doesn’t like the word “pussy,” but otherwise, you know, she cool.


Everything is going great on the L.A. tour until goth couple wants to follow a real Satanist home from his Satan storefront.  They take a vote, and everyone is in except Chloe.  She says “fucking peer pressure” and acquiesces.

So they tail the Satanist to a ritual in a forest.  It looks like they’re about to sacrifice a half-naked girl, when Chloe screams out “no!” and ruins the whole thing.  Then the foursome runs away.  But goth boy has dropped his phone somewhere.  The satanists have his phone!  This may or may not be important to the fact that Satan himself will show up with a phone later in the movie.
 
Later the girl from the ritual turns up with goth boy’s phone and returns it to him.  Before she gives it to him though, he has to say the magic word.  What do you think the magic word will be in a movie about Satanists?  “Antichrist”?  “Assessment”? "Fucktard"?

No, it’s “please”!  With nary a “bitch” in sight!

So, phone procured, the foursome is all clear to head on to Coachella, right?  Not so fast.  Chloe has found a virtuous cause, in the shape of the beautiful girl whom she had saved the night before.  So Chloe peer pressures the rest of the group into inviting the clearly issue-laden lass back to their historical murder room.  See, now Chloe is doing the peer pressure.  Fucking A!


They party back in the room. The new friend begins sexy dancing in front of them, and it’s probably pretty awkward for Chloe who was the one who insisted that they bring her back in the first place.  Tiring of making the party both sexy and awkward, the new friend, Alice, has an idea.  She will perform a ritual that will open a door to hell!   Doesn’t that sound like fun?   Chloe doesn’t think so.  She thinks it’s a bad idea.  But you know, she can’t be the one to chicken out because she was the one all hellbent on saving girlfriend in the first place. 

The girl does the ritual, throws up, pees on the floor, says something like, “no really, it’s fine.”  And when preppy boy instructs her “you need to leave.”  She says, “I know!” and kills herself.

If you’re keeping track, the “fucking peer pressure” has now been exerted by the group on Chloe, by Chloe on the group, by Alice on Chloe, and finally by preppy boy on Alice. Everyone is telling everyone else what they should do.  It’s like facebook, but with more profanity!

But now the whole group is cursed and that means forks are going to fly up into the ceiling and crows are going to be killed with pencils.  During which time, Chloe becomes even more unlikeable.  She yells at her boyfriend for daring to try to console her.  “How do you erase that from your fucking mind! She slit her own  throat right in front of us!”  And her boyfriend says, rationally, “I know, I was there.”  He’s only trying to help, Chloe.

And here’s the thing, the other three characters call each other “fucktards,” but in an affectionate way.  Chloe is the only one who curses them in a seriously negative way.  She didn’t learn how to curse like a bro!  And now she’s actually cursed!


You may think that this is all just coincidence.  But, let me belabor.  Early on, in the Satanic Storefront, the goths want to buy a book of incantations.  The Satanist Shopkeeper says: “if you don’t know Coptic Greek, you won’t be able to do the right accents.”  

My point is that Chloe’s whole problem is that she doesn’t know how to curse with the right accents, and not knowing how to say something with the right tone is an established theme in the film.  When the others peer pressured her, they called her names, but with smiles and friendship and respect.  But when she peer pressured them, it was all like “you fucking fakers.”  She’s the one that took it to a dark place, and so her cursing directly leads to their being cursed.

And that means none of them are getting to Coachella.  The first one to go is the goth girl.  She feels like she’s going to die, so they put her in a porta-potty on a vacant worksite.  Because that’s a place where it feels totally normal to want to die.

The others melt into the ceiling, improbably, or a hand railing.  They start sending each other frantic voicemails rather than calling each other.  At the end, Chloe ends up with her mouth sewed up, at the bottom of a pit, with no arms.  Then Satan comes in, picks up her cell phone, and points it at her.  And she can’t curse because of her mouth!  And she can’t text because of her arms!  Also, Satan has her phone, and you just know that dick's going to turn roaming on once they get to hell!
 
So what did I think of the film overall?  I watched it twice, and I’d say that to my surprise it was better the second time, maybe because I wasn’t trying to like Chloe.  There’s a lot of padding, though, including a long sequence where the characters are, I shit you not, waiting for time to pass.  But I found the final ten minutes unsettling and unpredictable (no arms? a hand railing? voice mails?!?).  So, I suppose I could bother to give it 6.5 fucks.
 
Questions for Joe:

1.  Why does Satan steal her cell phone?  Why does Satan vandalize homes?  Doesn't it all seem petty for the lord of the underworld?

JD: Dude, not only that, but Satan vandalizes the hell out of that house and doesn't even kill them there! He fills the ceiling with silverware and the pool with dead crows, then they freaking leave and get hunted down anyway. That said, the cousin whose house the stayed in probably has no idea about any of this, so they are going to come back to the seemingly weirdest party aftermath ever.

2.  Chloe is played by Sarah Hyland from Modern Family.  According to the most recent news, her new instagram-ready boyfriend from The Bachelorette took her to Disneyland for her birthday.  It was totes adorbs, according to twitter.  What does any of this have to do with Satanic?  I'm asking you, Joe.

JD: One of her earliest gigs was in a terrible soap opera called Another World. You know who else got their start in Another World? Lindsay Lohan. Don't try to add it up Paul. It's a beautiful confusion.

3.  How L.A. is the moral: don't help anyone out or they will pee on your floor and kill themselves? 

JD: They'll pee and puke on the floor, Paul. How awesome would it be if this was all a big mix-up, and was actually the fault of a shrimp cocktail they all shared earlier in the day? That would at least explain the porta potty scene.

4.  When someone you don't know is having a solo sexy disco moment at your party, is it polite to sit and watch quietly or should you converse among yourselves?

JD: I go to a lot of kid's birthday parties. So I'd tell her to cut it out or she won't get cake. And that'd probably fix her wagon.

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