Child Of Satan


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Child Of Satan
"Even in these days when the straight-to-online-viewing market has expanded on the potential of straight-to-VHS, it's rare to see a film this incoherent reach an audience."

It all starts well enough. We're in Mexico, first looking from on high, then plunging down into crowded streets on the Day of the Dead. Out of the hustle and bustle, Kevin (Yves Bright) appears. He's on the brink of a strange encounter. Quite what it's all supposed to mean is unclear, because after the action cuts to America, this plot strand - the only well shot segment in the film - is summarily abandoned. Loose attempts to tie it back in to the main plot later in the film fizzle and burn out. This is typical of a film that often feels as if it has been assembled from the corpses of others well after decay has set in.

It wants to be The Omen, of course - like so many others, and like them, one of its biggest problems is that it has nothing to add to what has already been said. But Child Of Satan has a lot of problems. Viewers looking for a dark Satanic thriller will be disappointed. If you're willing to settle for diabolical telenovela with a side portion of cheese, you might be entertained - if you're able to follow what's going on at all.

Copy picture

Kevin's wife, Allison (played by former Grange Hill star Kacey Clarke), is heavily pregnant when we meet her, five years later. A baby shower full of giggles and clunky exposition, where we learn that her husband is cheating on her, leads to scenes of panic as she goes into premature labour, but soon she's cradling an apparently healthy baby boy in her arms. They call him Neron (a Spanish name and an alternative title for this film), and all is right with the world - except when it's not.

According to an unhinged priest played by Eric Roberts, Neron is destined to take over the world and plunge it into centuries of darkness. In the meantime, he occupies himself by gazing vaguely at people and controlling their actions, though this sometimes just results in them standing around staring and waiting for their cues as they did before. The kid (Raymi Migenes-Patel) is quite sweet but is clearly receiving little in the way of direction, so his expressions are often inappropriate and at one point he reaches out playfully for a gun presented as a threat. Meanwhile, Allison is having visions still more incoherent than the principal plot and wondering if she ought to forgive Kevin because, after all, he's just a man.

Even in these days when the straight-to-online-viewing market has expanded on the potential of straight-to-VHS, it's rare to see a film this incoherent reach an audience. Child Of Satan doesn't so much do things by the book as apply cut-up technique to Ira Levin's story, but even in its more lucid moments, it's a few pages short of a full tome.

Reviewed on: 17 May 2018
Share this with others on...
A pregnant woman battles the evil lurking within as her adulterous husband hides a dark secret that may lead to human extinction.

Director: Mitesh Kumar Patel, Sam Son

Writer: Julian Jay Burton, Lekhraj Patel

Starring: Eric Roberts, Caite Upton, Mykel Shannon Jenkins

Year: 2017

Runtime: 100 minutes

Country: US


Search database:

If you like this, try:

Shark Exorcist