Satan’s Little Helper (2004)

It’s Halloween, the most wonderful time of the year. A 9-year-old boy named Dougie who hasn’t yet figured out his incest fetish is happily awaiting the arrival of his hot college coed sister. He’s also addicted to a game made with what was at the time Macromedia Flash that involves a kid helping torture, maim, and slaughter people with Satan for points. And then he discovers his sister has a boyfriend, so he gets all upset that his developing incest fantasy is ruined. So what does he do? He finds a guy dressed as Satan to get revenge on the sister’s boyfriend. Only he happened to pick a guy who is really into the role…

Yep, it’s a masked psycho killer. No, really, he’s openly pulling bodies out of a house when Dougie finds him. That kid thinks it’s cool, asks him to help out, and then goes on a crime spree. Satan dude murders folks in front of Dougie, who thinks it’s all a game, because kids can’t separate fantasy from reality and Flash games are addictive, yo. No, there’s no moralizing, the movie just uses this sort of trope to keep going, so don’t go thinking this is a message picture.

Anyway, Satan dude also gets frisky with Dougie’s sister, which leads to some awkward conversations with Dougie, and then he murder’s the boy’s father right in front of the family. Also by now he’s killed all the cops on the island that they live on, so folks are running rampant in the streets. Satan dude kidnaps Dougie’s mom, kills other folks at a party with bleach, and eventually fakes his own death. Then he kills people in a Jesus outfit. Then he pretends to be a cop and ends the movie on a twist. It’s a good ending to a movie that’s sometimes stupid, sometimes hilarious, generally trashy, and still pretty entertaining.

Look, you’re gonna find Dougie annoying and dumb. That’s pretty much his point in the film. But Satan is a funny guy, operating through hand gestures and interested in having a good time as long as he gets to murder a few folks along the way. He uses knives, rope, bleach, tape, plastic wrap, kitchen utensils, and his bare hands to deal with folks. He’s also smart enough to never speak and encourages the rioters as if he’s having a fun time. He just about makes up for Dougie being the stereotypical dumb kid, because OH MY GOD IS HE A STEREOTYPICAL DUMB KID.

The other players in this film? The hot sister, Jenna, played by Katheryn Winnick of Vikings and Hellraiser: Hellworld fame, and the mom, Merrill, played by Amanda Plummer. She was in the likes of Needful Things, Pulp Fiction, and The Fisher King. I do love a good acting pedigree. Jenna and Merrill are paired together a lot in the film, and Plummer and Winnick have some great mother/daughter chemistry that makes them feel goofily believable, in a your-mom-wants-to-be-your-best-friend kind of way. There’s also the boyfriend Alex, played by Stephen Graham, but he’s got some serious father issues and sets up this whole twisted tale of murder, so you know what? We’re not gonna give him credit.

Look, do you like the thought of a grey Satan in a black suit giving the finger, telling kids to poison candy, playfully fondling women, and obviously having a good time with his role? Do you want to see someone run over a pregnant woman with a shopping cart full of stolen groceries? Have you ever dreamed of seeing Jesus choke a dude? Because you get that here. Unfortunately, you don’t get nearly as much of the rioting no-man’s-land aspect that is heavily implied with the deaths of all the police, but I guess nobody wanted to spend the budget to light a car on fire or anything. All you really get is people running around and curb stomping one guy, backed by sound effects which could have been ripped off for The Purge a decade later.

Hey, it was a missed opportunity, but it was off lesser importance to the central slasher story anyway. Still, it might have made up for that dumb kid. Seriously, he thinks it’s cool to knock blind people over in parking lots. This kid is gonna end up seriously messed up…if he survives the night, which isn’t likely. Also, he did see his dad’s intestines used to tie his corpse to a chair, so I suppose Dougie was gonna be messed up anyway.

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