Horror fans are well acquainted with the popular conception of Satanists, as delivered by some of the best films of the genre. From classics like Rosemary’s Baby (1968) to throwback films like The House of the Devil (2009) and Hereditary (2018), devil worship gets a pretty bad rap in the genre. Many of those films are products of or harken back to, the Satanic Panic that swept over America in the 1980s. At the time, the accepted narrative that Satanists were conducting secret networks of violence and child abuse put real people in prison, even though none of it was true. It was a true modern day Salem Witch Trial.
This is a concept of Satanism that the upcoming documentary Hail Satan? is looking to dispel. The Sundance doc from director Penny Lane will be a look at practicing Satanists, as well as the Satanic Temple’s current fight for social justice and the separation of church and state.
Here’s the synopsis:
“When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.”
The trailer gives us an intriguing taste of a surprisingly sweet and lighthearted organization bent on standing up for the outsider. It looks to be a humorous, even heartwarming look at the real people who call themselves Satanists, the vitriol and misunderstandings they face, and why they choose to stick with it. Hail Satan? looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
Hail Satan? hits theaters on April 19, 2019. Check out the trailer and let us know your thoughts. Are you down for a documentary dive into the real Satanic Temple? Let us know on Twitter, the official NOFS Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club.