The Devil Won Tonight

(Warning: This article contains spoilers for certain horror movies.)

I recently rented Ti West’s ode to classic horror, The House of the Devil.”After watching it I began to wonder: why does evil almost always win in occult themed movies? I mean seriously, what is up with the Devil being the victor?
“House…” follows a young college student in search of a job. Naturally, she comes across a ‘babysitter needed’ flyer and ultimately accepts the job despite it not being exactly what was advertised.

A few Satanic chants and an attempted suicide later, we learn exactly what those crazy occultists wanted and they actually get it. For a few seconds, viewers think all is done and over. Oh no! Our heroine ends up alive and very much pregnant with Satan’s baby. Evil 1 point, Good 0. 

Rosemary’s Baby is a movie that must be mentioned when discussing Satanic movies. Poor Rosemary, poor innocent and naïve Rosemary. The movie takes us on a ride that can only be described as sad and horrific. A young bride’s dream is shattered when she finds she is carrying the son of the Devil. Awesome, huh? Of course, the viewer wants our broken Rosemary to triumph over evil. She knows something is wrong with her baby and her husband but just can’t figure out how to overcome it.

And ultimately that is her downfall. Instead of killing the baby, she decides to play mommy. Evil 2, Good 0. Who can forget everyone’s favorite devil child, Damien. He chilled viewers in “The Omen.” His parents had it right and tried to rid the world of the evil child but to no avail. Once again that pesky Devil dug his claws in this world and just wouldn’t let go. The movie ends on a disturbing note with Damien staring straight into the camera with his dark eyes and evil smile.

An image no one will ever forget I’m sure. Let’s see, the score is now…Evil 3 and Good 0. “Babysitter Wanted features a young babysitter, the son of the devil, and a priest on the hunt. Once again, our heroine thinks she has defeated the Devil but that’s too bad for her. She finds out Satan’s son is still alive and decides to go on her own hunt. Good for her but still does nothing for humanity’s safety since he’s still alive. Evil 4, Good 0. Hmmm, we may be royally screwed.

Why the hell does the Devil win or at least manage to elude justice in these types of movies? Perhaps, it boils down to religion and our beliefs. Religion plays a huge part in many people’s lives. Many go to church or at the very least pray at home. The Devil is a character in the Bible and is someone that a lot of people are taught to fear. According to many religions, he very much exists.

There are even whispers of a possible second coming of Lucifer; and that is a detail shared by many. The Devil is the ultimate evil in a lot of people’s minds so to see him triumph is the ultimate scare. Horror movie writers know this tidbit and use it to their advantage.

They know that Satan is as close to reality as they are going to get. Forget vampires, werewolves, Freddy Kruger; they know who the ultimate badass is. Horror writers want to scare the crap out of their fans so they decide not to provide a resolution all tied up in a pretty bow. Instead, they opt to make fans feel uncomfortable and scared. They want us to think about how ‘Good’ tried its damnedest to win but fell short. They want us to entertain the thought that maybe there is some truth to the horrific endings in these movies. Writers work their horror magic and ultimately want our last thought to be, “The Devil won tonight.”

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