The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil

Linsey Koros
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“Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil” explores boundary-pushing movies that challenge conventional storytelling. These films fearlessly spotlight the Devil, presenting a nuanced and intriguing portrayal of this complex character.

Despite criticism for their audacious themes, these movies have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema, sparking thought-provoking discussions about filmmaking, religion, and morality. Join us as we analyze these contentious films’ provocative narratives, igniting cinema screens with their bold storytelling.

The Exorcist (1973)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Linda Blair and Max von Sydow in The Exorcist (1973)

“The Exorcist” (1973) is a groundbreaking horror film that shook the world of cinema. William Peter Blatty’s novel explores the terrifying battle between faith and evil supernatural forces.

When a 12-year-old girl named Regan is possessed by a demonic entity, her mother and two priests embark on a harrowing quest to save her. With its disturbing scenes and thought-provoking themes, “The Exorcist” is a horror masterpiece that delves into the depths of evil and questions the nature of faith.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit:© 1968 Paramount Pictures

“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), directed by Roman Polanski, is a chilling and groundbreaking film that explores the psychological terror of an innocent woman, Rosemary, who unknowingly becomes entangled in her neighbors’ satanic rituals.

As her life unravels, Rosemary’s pregnancy is manipulated by a demonic cult, highlighting the presence of the Devil throughout the story. With a shocking narrative and subtle yet powerful execution, the film authentically portrays the Devil’s influence within the mundane.

The Omen (1976)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Harvey Stephens in The Omen (1976)

The Omen” (1976), directed by Richard Donner, is a chilling horror film that follows the life of Damien Thorn, an adopted child who unknowingly harbors the dark secret of being the Antichrist.

As eerie events unfold and death surrounds him, the film explores themes of faith, destiny, and the eternal battle between good and evil. With its haunting score, unforgettable performances, and thought-provoking narrative, “The Omen” is a classic in the horror genre, captivating audiences with its devilishly compelling tale.

The Witch (2015)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit:© 2016 – A24

In 2015, “The Witch” captivated and shocked the cinematic world. This period horror film, directed by Robert Eggers, follows a Puritan family haunted by an evil force believed to be a witch.

Set in a remote 1630s New England farm, the film intensifies the family’s descent into fear and paranoia. Controversial for depicting devil worship intertwined with religious beliefs and superstitions, “The Witch” is a chilling and psychologically intense film that leaves a lasting impact.

Angel Heart (1987)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Robert De Niro in Angel Heart (1987)

“Angel Heart” (1987) is a gripping fusion of horror and film noir directed by Alan Parker. The movie follows private detective Harry Angel as he delves into a terrifying world of voodoo and devil worship while investigating a case.

Mickey Rourke’s gritty performance intensifies the eerie atmosphere, while Robert De Niro’s portrayal of the enigmatic Louis Cyphre adds a touch of sinister elegance. With its exploration of devilish themes and controversial depictions of unsettling rituals, “Angel Heart” boldly exalts the Devil and has secured its place in cinema history.

The Ninth Gate (1999)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit:© 2000-Artisan Entertainment Inc.-All rights reserved

Roman Polanski’s “The Ninth Gate” (1999) is a chilling tribute to Satanic lore. Johnny Depp plays Dean Corso, a rare book dealer hired to authenticate a book that supposedly summons the Devil.

As Corso delves deeper into the world of occult manuscripts and cryptic riddles, he becomes entangled in a spine-tingling game that blurs reality and the supernatural. Polanski skillfully creates an atmosphere of dread, and Depp’s nuanced performance captivates. However, the film’s unabashed glorification of Satanic rituals and the Devil has sparked controversy.

The House of the Devil (2009)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Greta Gerwig in The House of the Devil (2009)

The House of the Devil” (2009), directed by Ti West, is a slow-burning, 80s-style horror film that follows a financially struggling college student who takes a babysitting job in a remote mansion. Little does she know, her employers have a nefarious, satanic agenda.

The film explores the chilling narrative of the traditional devil trope, raising questions about the source of true horror. With its suspenseful build-up and shocking conclusion, this controversial movie leaves viewers pondering the absolute terror: the Devil or the people who willingly serve him?

Hereditary (2018)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Photo by Reid Chavis

“Hereditary” (2018) is a chilling psychological horror film directed by Ari Aster. It delves into the dark depths of inherited trauma and the sinister secrets of family life.

After the death of their secretive grandmother, the Graham family is consumed by darkness. A series of disturbing events unfold, revealing a horrifying curse that has haunted generations. The film skillfully uses the Devil as a metaphor, highlighting the horrors of mental illness and the cyclical nature of trauma. A haunting and compelling watch, “Hereditary” subverts the genre by portraying the Devil not in shadows but within the familiar and familial.

Lucifer (2019)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Mohanlal in Lucifer (2019)

“Lucifer” (2019), directed by Prithviraj Sukumaran, is a gripping Indian crime drama that cleverly alludes to the Devil through its protagonist, Stephen Nedumpally (played by Mohanlal). A shrewd politician, Stephen gets entangled in corruption, deception, and violence following his party leader’s demise.

The film explores his character arc, symbolizing a descent into darkness akin to the Devil’s fall from grace. Despite its dark themes, “Lucifer” received critical acclaim for its intricate narrative, compelling characters, and exploration of the human capacity for evil in extreme circumstances.

The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Keanu Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

“The Devil’s Advocate” (1997) is a gripping psychological thriller directed by Taylor Hackford. Starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, the film explores society’s moral decay through a symbolic representation of the Devil. It follows Kevin Lomax (Reeves), a successful young lawyer tempted by power offered by an enigmatic senior partner (Pacino) of a prestigious law firm.

Unbeknownst to Lomax, the senior partner is the Devil incarnate, using the law firm for sinister activities. Controversial yet thought-provoking, the film delves into the corrupting influence of power and the peril of losing one’s moral compass in pursuing success.

End of Days (1999)

The Devil’s in the Details: 12 Controversial Films That Shamefully Exalt the Devil
Photo Credit: Arnold Schwarzenegger in End of Days (1999)

End of Days (1999), directed by Peter Hyams, is a provocative action-horror that boldly explores the Devil in a contemporary setting. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s troubled ex-cop character battles time and incarnate evil. The film’s portrayal of the Devil in human form, played by Gabriel Byrne, sparked controversy.

Depicting satanic rituals and blending religious themes with violence, it divided audiences and critics. Despite its controversial elements, End of Days chillingly examines the eternal battle between good and evil, leaving viewers pondering the Devil’s place in the modern world.

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Author

  • Linsey Koros

    with her roots in journalism, Linsey infuses creativity and insight into the Frenz Hub writing team. Her interests in writing, travel, music, and art provide a colorful tapestry to her storytelling.

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