SATAN WANTS YOU is a new documentary about the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, it’s the origin story. It all began with the book “Michelle Remembers” and this is the focus of the documentary. Read our full Satan Wants You documentary review here!
SATAN WANTS YOU is a documentary film about the origin of the Satanic Panic which ran rampant in the 1980s and ’90s. One book started it all and the consequences were far-reaching and extremely serious.
Most of the key figures (or people close to them) are interviewed for this documentary, which is something I always applaud. What I didn’t enjoy quite at much was the way in which certain details and opinions were held back for too long. I get that it’s part of the storytelling but it was a bit too forced for my liking.
Continue reading our Satan Wants You documentary review below. The documentary is screening at Fantasia 2023.
When did the Satanic Panic start?
Admittedly, I don’t think I ever wondered about when or how the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and ’90s began. I just thought it was conservative and Christian fanatics who blamed Satan for everything and felt that hard rock was the devil’s music. However, as this documentary focuses on it all began with a book.
A book that talked about Satanic Ritual abuse. Something that everyone had suddenly experienced once this book became a hit. The fact that this “true story” was pretty much based on another book that came out years earlier (and had been made into a movie starring Sally Fields) is another thing. One that is also covered in Satan Wants You.
The widespread Satanic Panic began with the 1980 book “Michelle Remembers”. This was supposedly a memoir written by Michelle Smith, a Canadian woman, and Dr. Larry Pazder, her psychiatrist.
Michelle Smith has led a normal life, when suddenly (under the care of Pazder), she infamously recalled suffering childhood ritual abuse at the hands of her Satanist mother. What came to be known simply as “Satanic ritual abuse”.
Through archival talk show footage, clips from the news at the time, and brand new in-depth interviews with those closest to the controversy, everything suddenly becomes very clear. Including how and why Michelle suddenly remembered things. And also while constantly stating “I don’t know what’s real anymore”.
From the Satanic Panic to Pizzagate
During Satan Wants You, we get first-hand accounts from Michelle’s sister Charyl, Dr. Pazder’s daughter Theresa, and his ex-wife Marylyn. They all reveal their experiences with the Satanic Panic phenomenon that rocked the nation. For me, the editing shows them as if they’re not sure how they felt about it at first.
But obviously, they know exactly how they experienced it all.
We also hear from experts from law enforcement, academia, and the Church of Satan. All are included to give valuable perspectives on this crazy and unforgettable moment in recent history. And to make it obvious that we haven’t learned a damn thing!
While the “Michelle Remembers” happened before social media, the more recent PizzaGate utilized all the same lies. With the aid of social media, the consequences happen faster and were more dire. This results in Satan Wants You turning into a look at the mania that we most recently witnessed again with QAnon.
Satan Wants You get Canadian premiere at Fantasia 2023
The documentary comes from the award-winning directors Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams. With this documentary, they take us on a wild ride into the years of the Satanic Panic with the 1980 book “Michelle Remembers” as the starting point.
The documentary trilogy Paradise Lost focused on one specific true crime case which also stemmed from the Satanic Panic. If you’ve watched those documentaries, this movie is even more interesting. Not least because we hear about several other “true crimes” that came from this conspiracy-based panic.
It’s a wild weaving of timelines (at times even a bit too wild, perhaps) which is interconnected with lots of facts, consequences, and shocking outcomes. The Church of Satan is also involved with this documentary (members are interviewed), and speak about how they battled this Satanic Panic. And help win back sanity and get back to real justice.
Satan Wants You is screening at Fantasia 2023.
Director: Steve J. Adams, Sean Horlor
Cast: Blanche Barton, Charles Ennis, Ken Lanning, Sarah Marshall, Charyl Proby-Austman
It tells the story of how the Satanic Panic of the 1980s was ignited by “Michelle Remembers”, a memoir by psychiatrist and his patient. The book relied on recovered-memory therapy to uncover Michelle’s abduction by baby-stealing Satanists.