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Film / Satanic Panic

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Satanic Panic is a 2009 American horror movie.

A group of old friends go camping in an effort to make amends, and find themselves attacked by a Satanic cult.

Not to be confused with the 2019 movie of the same name or the trope, although this actually does fall under that trope.

Tropes featured in this work include:

  • Bald of Evil: That creepy tall guy with a shaven head and a beard that the group encounter in the general store? He's the leader of the cult.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The movie markets itself as “inspired by true accounts”, and the narrations at the beginning try to insist that the Satanic Panic wasn't all just mass hysteria and that the police and FBI overlooked a lot of evidence, when it’s long since been disproven and all just an attempt at capitalizing on fear.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Norville rescues Karen from the cult and tries to help her escape.
  • The Blank: The cultists wear black, featureless masks to cover their faces.
  • Blood from the Mouth: While on the drive, Karen coughs up blood, revealing her terminal illness. Phil later gets this when he drinks a thermos of spiked blood that was conspicuously placed there by a cultist.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Greg's hunting knife can be seen while him and Karen are finishing up packing. She later uses it on the sheriff.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Edgar, the LaVeyan Satanist, explains as hammily as possible that Satanism is ultimately harmless, and shows a picture of his pet cat and dog.
    • Toby, for all intents and purposes, is now a demon, but he only goes after the cultists.
  • Dead All Along: Cindy … apparently.
  • Death by Sex: The couple at the campsite are sacrificed shortly after having sex. Lori and Maggie are killed this way, too.
  • Dirty Cop: The sheriff who released Cindy to her parents mid-interrogation is part of the cult.
  • Gainax Ending: Karen is rescued from the cult leader by Cindy — who is suddenly a ghost and vows revenge against the cult — and her now-demonic brother. But at the end, she's inexplicably back in the cult's captivity.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Norville had known about the Satanists for some time, and was either in on it with them, or he just didn’t do anything about it. But either way, by the end, he suddenly decides he’s had enough and tries to save Karen, only to get beheaded for his efforts.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: It's set out in the countryside of Illinois, and many of the Satanists are hicks.
  • Hollywood Satanism: With the exception of the flamboyant LaVeyan Satanist from the start, every Satanist featured fits pretty much every stereotype in the book, including cannibalism, child murder, animal sacrifice, and black robes.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A Satanist drives a harpoon through Maggie's head, which impales Lori at the same time. Paul is stabbed in the throat with a dagger shortly after.
  • Large Ham: Edgar, the Church of Satan member being interviewed at the start is a little overly passionate about his ideology.
  • Red Herring: Did you really think that Norville was one of the bad guys?
  • Satanic Panic: The movie begins by saying that Satanic cults are real, the "panic" was Based On Real Events, and it goes on to "prove" it.
  • Subliminal Seduction: One Leroy Jenkins note  hears demonic voices on a record he plays backwards that tell him to kill his girlfriend.
  • Tempting Fate: One neighbor gets the not-so-bright idea to barge in on one of the Satanists and put an end to their reign of terror. In the next shot, he's tied up and being tortured by said Satanist.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Karen is dying of terminal cancer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Well, it is a movie about the Satanic Panic after all.