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Film / Belzebuth

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Belzebuth is a 2019 Mexican horror film, co-starring Tobin Bell.

A recent string of mass murders resulting in the deaths of many children forces a bereaved cop to investigate the killings, all seemingly linked to a mysterious priest and a demonic force with nefarious plans for mankind.


Tropes featured in this work:

  • Antagonist Title: Interestingly, though, Belzebuth is never called by name until the end.
  • The Antichrist: Never actually shown in the movie, but Belzebuth alludes to his "son". It should be pretty clear who he's referring to.
  • Badass Beard: Vasilio Canetti sports a lengthy beard.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Belzebuth engineered the First Crusade to stop the original Second Coming.
  • Conspicuous CG: The possessed talking Jesus statue and the blood sprays are noticeably computer-generated.
  • Cowboy Cop: Ritter becomes this in the second act, prone to defying orders from Najera when it suits his current mission and beating Ivan Franco nearly to death. Even before that, he was pretty ill-tempered, though more out of impatience with his perceived incompetence of the American law enforcement.
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  • Dark Is Not Evil: Canetti wears black and is covered in demonic sigil tattoos, and he was excommunicated from the Catholic church for communicating with demons. As it turns out, he was using them to find the reincarnation of the Messiah to protect him. Double subverted, in that he made a pact with Belzebuth that he tried to back out of by sacrificing children, but redeemed himself at the end by exorcising Belzebuth from Ritter’s body and taking him into his own, then transferring the evil spirit into an altar to be sealed away for all eternity and collapsing to his death.
  • Deal with the Devil: Belzebuth, being Belzebuth, is prone to these. He tries to offer Ritter his family back, and it's revealed that Canetti made a deal with him to track down the reincarnation of the Messiah, but tried to back out by way of multiple child sacrifices.
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  • Death of a Child: The film actually opens with several. In fact, it's all part of Belzebuth's plan to make sure the reincarnation of Christ never fulfills his duty.
  • Flies Equals Evil: When Franco and Ritter are in the church, they find a swarm of flies leading towards a fallen crucifix statue. Franco notes that the flies indicate a dark presence. Historically, "Beelzebub" means "lord of the flies".
  • Jackass Genie: At one point, Belzebuth tries to tempt Ritter by promising to return his family to him, and Ritter leaves the circle to hold his baby. Said baby is little more than a rotting corpse wrapped up in a blanket.
  • Murder-Suicide: Part of Belzebuth’s MO. Once his hosts have fulfilled their goal, he makes them kill themselves. Or he just makes them kill themselves while taking as many people with them.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The name "Vasilio Canetti" is Italian, but Tobin Bell just uses his normal accent.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Belzebuth expresses his intent to destroy the world. Given the reach of his influence, it seems pretty safe to assume that he can.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After Belzebuth drops a horrible truth bomb about Canetti, Canetti seizes Ritter and allows himself to be possessed, and uses his last ounces of free will and strength to seal the demon away inside a rock forever before collapsing on the rock, dead, having effectively saved the world.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Belzebuth becomes this at the end, when Canetti traps him inside an altar, and Ritter detonates the smuggling tunnels for good measure.
  • Villain Has a Point: Once the heroes chain him down, Belzebuth tries to warn them that Canetti is the real murderer. And it turns out that he actually was, sacrificing several children to break his pact with him. He could have been trying to cause dissent, but the ghostly children following Canetti imply that he was telling the truth.
  • Wham Line: While the group is heading through the smuggling tunnel, Canetti informs them that he sold his soul to Belzebuth in order to find and protect Isa.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Belzebuth possesses hosts to kill children en masse. He also demands child sacrifices for appeasement and backing out of pacts.
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