Satanic, from director Jeffrey G. Hunt, is apparently about a group of friends who, for whatever reason, detour to some true-crime hotspots in Los Angeles only to find out that this is always a bad idea in horror movies. I guess. Because you won’t gather any of that from the way this movie opens.

This isn’t a movie.

The opening sequence is a little under three minutes long. It consists of about 2 minutes of random, 50-year old black-and-white footage about Satanic worship and about 40 seconds of a girl walking down a bunch of dark hallways sparsely decorated with shit written in blood. Like, sparse-sparse. And then, a weird looking ghost chick briefly jumps past her from around a corner. The girl screams. Cut to black. Title up. Roll credits.

At least I can’t complain that this opening drags on.

I skipped ahead some. Takes almost 30 minutes before anything of interest happens in this movie. 30 minutes. It’s only 84 minutes long–with credits! It’s some 25 minutes of nothing but 30-year old actors pulling off their idea of what 20-year olds are these days as they wander about knockoffs of LA hotspots. Then they get to some shack in the middle of nowhere for no real reason, banter through most of a Satanic ritual within earshot of the Satanists, and then get chased off when they interrupt some sort of sacrifice.

Why the shit didn’t the movie just start with that? Get them to the ritual ASAP. That’s the goddamn story. Not their bullshit little tour through LA.

Also, why are they going to Coachella? That’s utterly fucking pointless. If the whole reason they take the detour is because they’re interested in the occult (for whatever reason), then just have the group already be touring true-crime, real-life occult tourist spots. That’s what they’re already going to be doing, so just start there instead of starting elsewhere and wasting time getting to the real setup.

Start your stories at or very close to some interesting point. Don’t start with a non-hook prologue followed by a second prologue. Streamline events. Give your characters direction and urgency instead of simply letting them drift from one random plot point to the next.

And in any case, don’t even start Satanic.

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