The Devil gets all the best tunes, so the saying goes, but one could argue that he also gets all the best movies, too. Satan, it is also said, will come disguised as an angel of light… and what is cinema but the haphazard flashing and projection of light?
This list has proven somewhat difficult to finalise, for you see there is no shortage of movies wherein Old Scratch has a more than passing role. Being someone who is somewhat more inclined to favour the old boy over God hasn’t really helped. Even the merest mention of the Devil makes a movie a winner in my book.
So it was in researching this article that I stumbled upon many more movies that I should probably indulge in and that may well make a future expansion or reiteration of this list. Furthermore, I found many movies in which, though there is a devil present, it is not the “Devil,” and no matter how good or how popular this film may be, it does not fulfill the strict but simple criteria for this list. There were almost as many films where Satan is alluded to but never actually appears which again negates them from this list.
So, without further ado… Tolle Corpus Satani!
Honourable Mention – The Omen Trilogy
Born of the Satanic Cinematic boom in the late seventies and early eighties, these films have aged very well. Whereas as other films might take themselves so seriously as to appear laughable, or appear deliberately comical and therefore fail to elicit any real sense of dread, the Omen movies seemingly incorporate but ridicule the paranoia and pretension of films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist to create a most unsettling sense of dread.
Though these movies are more about Damien than his infernal parent, Daddy is, as previously stated, supernaturally conspicuous by his physical absence. Whereas God was content to let his son suffer and eventually die, Satan like any doting parent seems to always have his eye on Damien. As viewers will learn, the Devil is swift to get rid of anyone or anything that might threaten his progeny, which is but one of many reasons why Jesus’ appearance at the end of the third movie just doesn’t seem right and really does ruin everything.
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