Fresh to streaming services this past week is the new satanic cult BAPHOMET, so you know I had to rent this one as soon as I was able to because, well, satanic cult horror! Who doesn't like to kick their week off with a good ol' fashioned satanic ritual nonsense?! The film was written and directed by Matthan Harris - who also stars in the film - and it tells the tragic and chaotic story of a family cursed by a satanic cult who are after the land owned by the family. Upon first watch of the trailer, the film admittedly looks like it could be really cheesy, but allow me to reassure you that it is not: the film is actually very professionally done and tells a pretty wicked story. Baphomet is packed with creativity and plot twists you likely won't see coming, and overall, honestly, the movie is just a really fucking fun watch. Horror movies are funny - especially many indie horrors - because it feels like more often than not, you don't really end up caring much about the majority of the films characters. But Baphomet is special because while the characters may not be the most memorable of modern horror, there's just something about them that makes you root for the until the very end. But before I get too ahead of myself, let me just say this: if you are even a slight fan of horror flicks that involve devil worshipping cults wreaking havoc on a poor innocent family, Baphomet is right up your fuckin' alley, and I think you'll get a nice little kick out of it.
The story follows the Richardson family who are visited by a "businessman" on behalf of his father. The Richardson's own a beautiful, spacious property in Northern California and Aksel Brandr's father is interested in purchasing the property, at whatever cost. Jacob Richardson - the head of the household - refuses the offer and kindly suggests Aksel leave the property; he has no interest in doing business with Brandr. What follows is unfortunate for the Richardson family, as the satanic cult led by Aksel's father Henrik Brandr begin to place curses on the family, making it clear that they will stop at nothing - not even murder - to ensure ownership of the property. The family begin to be plagued by these curses, so they enlist the help of a white witch named Marybeth to help place an end to the curses; but while doing so, a dark and twisted secret is brought to light about the very property the Richardsons' have been living on unknowingly. Suddenly, the truth about why the cult are so desperate to own the land comes to light... and it's pure fucking evil. Will the Richardson's rightfully defend their property, and all the secrets that come with it? Or will the satanic cult rip the family apart and reap the land for their hidden agenda? What is the secret hidden about the property?! Find out in... BAPHOMET!
In an attempt to try and keep this review spoiler free, I'm really trying to refrain from giving away too much about the plot, but I can assure you it's pretty sick. There are definitely a few "what the fuck" moments, simply because the movie really does take a few unconventional twists (think Pet Sematary) that viewers really probably wouldn't see coming. I'm sure some will see these twists as tacky simply because they may be a little silly, but the way that they all fit into the story just creates a really great overall product, and I think that's where this movie shines: the big picture. The Richardson family are great and put up a pretty sinister fight against the evil satanic cult members, but seeing the cult on screen always pulled my attention pretty hard. Harris didn't hold back in making sure that the cult are shown as the true evil they are, and it really shows as the begin their descent on the house. Their eerie "Ave Satan!" chants definitely set this unsettling tone to the scene as they conjure up their evil lords - and it's fucking awesome. We've covered a handful of satanic cult horrors over the last few years, and they just never get old; watching devil worshippers use black magick to pursue their devilish goals will never get old, and Baphomet adds itself as an excellent addition to that list. Like I said, you'll find yourself silently cheering on the Richardson family as they go head-to-head with the satanic cult to defend what's rightfully theirs, and the help that they bring in doesn't help either!
If you're in the mood for something a little different (because movies with this theme don't come out nearly as often as they should), I cannot recommend Baphomet enough. Nothing felt cheap, half-assed or trying too hard in the film, and the quality of the film shows just that. The film introduces a handful of really interesting characters who I'm sure viewers will find fun to watch, and those plot twists (have I successfully avoided giving anything away?!) will leave you ready for more! Baphomet was definitely worth the rental price and would make for a great late night watch. I think there's more than enough substance to the movie to call it awesome, and more than enough evil to call it wicked! I mean, there's even a brief Dani Filth (of Cradle of Filth) cameo appearance that just adds to the pure evilness of the film (although don't rent the film thinking you're getting plenty of him, his appearance is very brief). I think there is definitely some room for a sequel that maybe expands on the ending, and I wouldn't be against seeing a part two that picks up where this one leaves off! Worth your hard earned money and time, for sure; check it out!