Saturday, October 22, 2011

my thoughts on.... 'Satan's Little Helper'

Every year, when Halloween rolls around, there's always a question of what films to watch? Well, I have a new one to add to the mix now.... thanks to Brian. (Thank you!) It's a little film that slid by under the rader, but that Netflix kept trying to get me to watch. Finally, I did. The film is called 'Satan's Little Helper' and it's a diamond in the rough. It's something unique, special and fun. It's the perfect little add on to your regular Halloween viewing. It feels like Halloween, takes place on Halloween and has a lot good going for it. It's written and directed by the cult director, Jeff Lieberman. He's not got a huge cinematic history, but he's got a name that's known for what little he's done. He made a movie about killer earthworms! It stars a little boy who only did one other movie, Alexander Brickel. Granted, he's annoying as hell, but he fits in this role perfectly. It was the part he was born to play. I mean, the whole film is kind of surreal or hyper-realistic and he just adds another level to that. It's not really gory or violent, it's just quirky and odd.

The plot revolves around a little boy named, Douglas who is obsessed with a video game called 'Satan's Little Helper'. His mom, played by Amanda Plummer, thinks this game is an okay past time for her son and encourages him to dress up as the main character of the game for Halloween. He wears the costume non-stop. It basically consists of a Satan costume with a little badge around his neck that says, 'Satan's Little Helper'. The game is kind of like 'Grand Theft Auto', without the car and with Satan and a lot of death. As Douglas is running around the neighborhood, he sees a strange man dressed like Satan. This strange man is killing people in the neighborhood and leaving them out in the front yard like a piece of Halloween decorations. Douglas convinces Satan to let him be his 'helper' and they go off on an adventure. What Douglas doesn't realize, is that Satan is actually killing the people.... he thinks it's all pretend. Eventually, he brings him home to meet his mom and sister. Things slowly start to fall apart, until Douglas realizes the truth and all hell breaks loose. The rest you just have to see.I can't say enough good things about this film. I don't want you to think that this is the best Halloween film ever made, but it's a nice breath of fresh air. I've seen almost every Halloween film made to date and even the ones that aren't specifically for Halloween and they were starting to get stale. I think that's why I ended up liking this one so much.... it's new. (actually, it's from 2004) Everybody needs a little change up now and then. I think if you have an open mind and a little bit of a dark sense of humor, then you'll probably dig this film too. Just ignore the one really bad part, when Doug's dad is being gutted. His intestines look really, really fake. Granted, I have had my hands inside a dead body and pulled the guts out of a man.... these guts weren't even close to realistic. (and I didn't kill anyone.... if you remember, I went to a cadaver lab during my Medical Assistant schooling)

I give 'Satan's Little Helper' a solid 4 out of 5 stars. My only regret is that I didn't wait until Halloween to actually watch it. Watching on that night in particular would have made this that much better. But you don't have to do that, it has the Halloween feel year round. They left this open for a sequel, but if they haven't announced one by now, then I kind of doubt it's going to happen. It's probably better that way.... it would have just weakend this storyline, even with the slightly soft ending. This film is available to rent through Netflix.

If you want other good films to watch on Halloween, check out: 'Trick 'r Treat', 'Creepshow' and 'Sleepy Hollow' (1999)

(I couldn't find a trailer that wasn't in Spanish, so here's a short clip from the film. Don't judge based on this alone. Thanks!)

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