When we say demons, we always seem to visualize the horned creatures who viciously torture the poor souls in hell and the treacherous evil spirits who possess human beings.
The study of demons is common in science, theology, philosophy, psychiatry, mental health, and paranormal research. Since the release of The Exorcist in 1973, demonic possessions have gained extensive popularity. People have become curious as they have been joining ghost tours and paranormal investigations just to satisfy their interest.
A 2013 survey by YouGov revealed that the majority of Americans believe in Satan, demons, and demonic possessions: “More than half of all Americans (57%) believe in the existence of the devil and a slight majority (51%) believe in possession by evil spirits.”
But despite the horrific descriptions about demons, they gained a widespread attraction from people and the pop-culture. Thousands of books, essays, and articles about them are in constant publication, while music, TV shows, and movies are widely distributed amongst multimedia junkies.
These movies helped us to visually understand “evil”, which people find boring to read from books and from the Bible. Here are a few of the movies with demons as the subject. We have narrowed down a list that is scary, comical, and at the same time enjoyable for whatever party.
Warning: Spoilers up ahead. Read at your own risk!
1) The Witch (2015)
The Witch is a supernatural horror film based on a New England folktale. It is written and directed by Robert Eggers and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the main character, Thomasin.
Set in 1630s New England, the film tells the story of a Puritan family who had been banished from their old community due to a religious conflict. They moved to a secluded location and built a farm near a forest. Things fall apart when starvation, controversy in the family, and the forces of witchcraft start to corrupt their faith.
The family has a black billy goat named Black Phillip, which Thomasin believes to be Lucifer himself, and the root of all their troubles. A scene in the film shows Black Phillip transform into a tall black-clad man, who at near-end of the film, persuades Thomasin to sign a ledger. The Devil also asks Thomasin a question (that had become a familiar catchphrase from the film):
“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”
Thomasin signing the ledger is a form of initiation and agreement towards the Devil’s terms. He then brought her to the forest to join a coven of witches levitating in the dead of the night.
The film was a box office success, gained positive reviews, and earned an approval rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2) Errementari: The Blacksmith and The Devil (2017)
Errementari is a fantasy horror film in the Basque language directed by Paul Urkijo and is his first feature-length film. It stars Uma Bracaglia, Kandido Uranga, and Eneko Sagardoy as the very likable demon, Sartael. Errementari retells the famous Basque folklore about a blacksmith who tricked a demon, keeps him in a fortress, and tortures him. The blacksmith blames the
demon for his misery and the loss of his wife. Things inside the fortress change when an orphan trespassed on his property and releases Sartael from his cage.
The movie is creepy yet very delightful to watch. It gained positive reviews and an approval rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and is available for streaming on Netflix. If you love Guillermo del Toro films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, then you will definitely treasure this movie.
3) Under the Shadow (2016)
Under the Shadow is a Persian-language horror film written and directed by Iranian-born Babak Anvari as his directorial debut. Set in 1980s Tehran during the War of the Cities, the film tells the story of a mother and child haunted by a demon wearing a chādor, an outer cloak usually worn by women in Iran, Iraq, and other countries under the Persianate society.
The demon in the film is called the Djinn, a supernatural creature originating from the early pre-Islamic Arabian and later Islamic mythology. Djinns are believed to be wind-born spirits who haunt areas that are already plagued by fear. The flying black chādor is an unforgettable figure in the film, which, if you are not used to scary movies, will make you uncomfortable with your blinds and house curtains.
Under the Shadow received positive reviews and scored 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and is available for streaming on Netflix.
4) Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary is an American horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. It stars Toni Collette as Annie, Gabriel Byrne as Steve (Annie’s husband), Alex Wolff as Peter (their 16-year-old son), and Milly Shapiro as Charlie (their 13-year-old daughter). It revolves around a family who is haunted by an undefined horror after their secretive and mysterious grandmother died. The near-end of the film reveals that the disturbance and confusion had something to do with the grandmother and her coven’s god, King Paimon, a demon who wishes to inhabit the body of a male host.
King Paimon is known as the ninth spirit in the Goetia, a practice that includes the conjuration of demons. The grimoire called Lesser Key of Solomon, narrates: “The Ninth Spirit in this Order is Paimon, a Great King, and very obedient unto Lucifer.
He appeareth in the form of a Man sitting upon a Dromedary with a Crown most glorious upon his head.”
According to Carroll “Poke” Runyon, a practicing occultist, some manuscripts depict King Paimon as a young woman, and that the name “Paimon” meant “a tinkling sound” in an unidentified language. Others believe that he has a “hoarse voice” despite having a womanly face but is still referred to in masculine pronouns. He is said to be knowledgeable in arts, sciences, and all “secret things.”
The movie was a commercial success and gained an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch out for Charlie’s habitual “tongue clicks”, which leave a jarring effect that even in your deepest slumber, you could still hear it—“cluck!”
5) Little Evil (2017)
Little Evil deviates from all the other films on this list since it is, well, a comedy. It’s written and directed by Eli Craig and is one of the most famous films on Netflix under the horror comedy genre.
The film tells the troubles of a step-father who is plotting a way to kill his 5-year-old stepson, Lucas, who is actually the Antichrist. Lucas has been hunted by members of a cult who want him dead so that his real father, The Devil, can have “full custody” by using the child’s body as a medium for him to enter and bring on the apocalypse.
Little Evil is a hybrid of the films The Omen, Poltergeist, and Shaun of the Dead and it leaves a cheerful and charismatic contrast on-screen. The film gained positive reviews and a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Hundreds of books and movies have discussed angels, demons—the battle between good and evil—which left us questioning whether it’s real or fiction. But most of the time, the demons represent the constant conflict within ourselves, lurking behind the darkest choices that we have to make in order to survive our everyday grind. Demons are depicted by a lot of definitions depending on religion, belief, and occultism. They are often defined as supernatural and malevolent minions of Lucifer. In Christianity, demons are corrupted spirits tasked to accomplish Satan’s desires. In Christian demonology, a demon is considered as an evil spiritual entity and is the common subject in demonic possessions.
If you’re in Sacramento and Northern California and you feel demonicdisturbances in your homes, contact Halo Paranormal Investigations. We conduct metaphysical cleansing and house blessings. We have conducted over 1,000 investigations and have been involved in over 15 documentaries. To know more about HPI, visit our website or call us directly at 916 203 7503