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Satan's Little Helper (2004)

DVD Cover (Screen Media)
Director:
Jeff Lieberman Jeff Lieberman
Starring:
Alexander Brickel Alexander Brickel
Katheryn Winnick Katheryn Winnick
Stephen Graham Stephen Graham
Amanda Plummer Amanda Plummer
Wass Stevens Wass Stevens

5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Slasher Film, Supernatural Horror, Halloween
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Review by Chad
Added: October 23, 2005
It's only fitting that this movie was released just a few weeks prior to Halloween. You see, it centers around young Douglas Whooly (Alexander Brickel), who is quite obsessed with the video game "Satan's Little Helper"... a game in which you play as Satan and score points for killing people, running over baby carriages, and poisoning children's Halloween candy. Jack Thompson would have a field day with this game, I'm sure. Doug is so obsessed with the game, in fact, that he plans to dress up as Satan's Little Helper for this years Halloween celebrations, and he also plans to find the real Satan in order to, well, help him. His mother Merrill (Amanda Plummer) is too busy with her own Halloween plans to pay much attention to him, and his just-arrived-home sister Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) thinks that it's all fun and games. How wrong they will both turn out to be.

When Jenna returns home from college, she brings along her new boyfriend Alex (Stephen Graham). She thinks that herself, Alex, and "Douggie" can all go out trick-or-treating and have a great time together. Douglas, on the other hand, hates the fact that his sister now has a boyfriend and won't be spending as much time with him. He gets so upset that he leaves them behind and wanders around the neighborhood by himself, looking for Satan to make this Halloween work out better. He eventually finds a man wearing a demonic mask (Joshua Annex) who is pulling a very realistic looking corpse out of a house and setting it up as a decoration. Doug believes that this is Satan, and asks if he can be his helper after ooh'ing and ahh'ing over his cool decorations. Satan agrees, and the two set off for a night of mischief.

Meanwhile, Jenna and Alex are trying to figure out a way to warm Douglas up to the idea that his sister is dating, and the two come up with the idea of having Alex dress up as Satan and take Doug out for Halloween... after all, that's what Doug wants, right? So, she sends Alex out to the costume shop to pick up a suitable mask, and when Doug returns home with a man dressed up as Satan, Jenna is none the wiser.

There's more to the storyline, of course. It just gets better from the point where I left off at, but I don't want to spoil things any further than I already have. This is the part of the movie that shines the most, and it's the main reason that I'm about to start heaping some hearty helpings of praise on this film. You see, it all plays out in such a realistic fashion... any of this stuff could actually happen, and there's no "only in a movie" twists and turns to be found (well, maybe one... but no spoilers). If someone decided to go on a Halloween killing spree, they could most definitely pull it off in this fashion. This realism is aided by the fact that there's very little music to be found in the movie. There's no musical cues to let the viewer know when something is about to happen, there's no aural buildups to let you know that a major scene is about to occur, and everything just... happens. It's almost as if you were actually there with these people, and that definitely works out in this film.

The storyline isn't perfect, but it's pretty damned close. The only problem I had in this regard was in the details involved with a few particular scenes. You see, the grand majority of the plot is solid; all of the twists are very nicely handled and all of the major plot advancements are done just as well. The problem I had was just the small things... why didn't they escape when they could, why didn't they do this, why didn't he do that? I'm sure that you've seen people do some incredibly stupid things in horror films, but I have never wanted to yell at a TV screen so much as when a few of these scenes rolled by. Director Jeff Lieberman has just a wee bit of experience in the art of film-making, so perhaps this was a nod to the eighties slashers or something. Regardless, there's only a few of these scenes, and they didn't hurt the movie too much just so long as you're a bit forgiving of such things.

Although this movie is a horror film at heart, it's spiked with just a touch of that black humor that I particularly enjoy so much. Now, I was all set to point out one such scene here in order to show you, dear reader, just what sort of movie that you're getting yourself into. As I typed the words, however, it became pretty apparent to me that taken out of the context of the movie, these scenes are far from funny and land more on the disgusting side of things. So, when you see that innocent infant get ran over by a shopping cart, it's OK... I laughed too.

This movie should be at the top of your Halloween viewing list. It's direct-to-video, and I do know how much crap hits the DTV horror market (especially around Halloween), but this movie is well worth your cash. There's laughs, there's a good amount of horror, the tension is built up perfectly, and it features one of the best endings in recent memory for yours truly. If anyone deserves to have a series centered around them, it's the man behind that Satan mask. 9/10.
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Edd #1: Edd - added 10/24/2005, 01:15 AM
I just rented this movie recently, and man it was gold. Shouldn't be overlooked for big budget shit.
Cryptorchild #2: Cryptorchild - added 10/25/2005, 09:59 PM
Man, I agree with everything I've read. This movie is great. You get some good laughs out of it. The Jesus custom, wow. I'd highy recommend this one. Awesome movie!
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