Ever wondered what Rebecca Romijn and husband Jerry O’Connell do for fun? Apparently, the answer is: find campy horror films to star in together. Films like "Satanic Panic." However, this film plays like a bad high school drama project or amateur YouTube video. You may also have noticed it earned my lowest rating all year. That being said, I’m sure there is an audience for this film, just like there was an audience for “Ghoulies,” albeit a small one.
Down-on-her-luck pizza delivery girl Sam brings a fateful pizza to the rich weirdo neighborhood one night expecting a tip, but when she doesn’t get one, she barges in on a planned satanic ritual that just lost its sacrificial virgin. Everything that happens after that is dripping with blood and sarcasm, but definitely not talent.
Played for gore and shock, there are voodoo dolls, orgies and hexes, but also infighting among the bumbling would-be devil worshipers that doesn’t do enough to distract from the base material.
Hayley Griffith is adorable as the naive lead, but this role will not launch her career. Ex-sacrificial virgin Ruby Modine (“Shameless,” “Happy Death Day 2 U”) is the only actor invested in rising above her material in my opinion, and that includes Romijn and O’Connell. I’m sure it was an amusing diversion from their regular material, but it’s really just an embarrassment.
“Panic” is the particular kind of camp that doesn’t even rise to the level of comedy required to make it a legitimate midnight movie with a following like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “The Room.” It’s like they weren’t even trying to write something with a plot that makes sense or craft decent props. There is even gratuitous nudity at the very end, in an obvious and desperate attempt to keep people from leaving the theater.
My recent positive review of “Ready or Not” serves as proof that there is a proper way to make a horror comedy film, but this isn’t it.