Satan’s Little Helper – Children’s Week

In celebration of the birth of our littlest angel, I thought I’d feature movies about angelic tykes. What’s that you say? There aren’t any? Hrrrrm. I guess we’ll feature the opposite then.

Satan's Little Helper

PASS: Satan’s Little Helper (2004) – Rated R for violence/gore, some sexual content and language.

“It’s Halloween eve, and 9-year-old Douglas (Alexander Brickel) is in for the fright of his life in this chilling horror tale. Dressed as “Satan’s Little Helper” (from his favorite video game), Douglas goes out trick-or-treating and meets a guy dressed as the monstrous boss from the same video game. Staying true to the game, Doug offers to be his assistant, unaware that the masked man is really a serial killer on a Halloween murdering spree.”

I had never heard of this film until I saw it recently on a horror blogger’s Top Ten List. Written, directed and produced by Jeff Lieberman, this is clearly a quirky labor of love. Lieberman wrote and directed the delightful Squirm, a horror movie about earthworms way back in 1976.

The script appears to be trying to say something about video-game players’ desensitization to violence but it is handled so obtusely that it is hard to say which side of the issue it is on. The video game dreamed up for the movie is cute but very old school and cartoony. Most desensitization arguments stem from how video games are almost photo-realistic.

The biggest problem with this satire is that pretty much every character in it is thick as a brick. There is some evidence that Douglas is mentally challenged in some fashion. It is a bit of a leap but one could draw the conclusion that this condition is hereditary so that would explain sister and either mom or dad but not both. It also doesn’t explain the intense stupidity of the boyfriend.

If you can ignore the stupidity of the characters then there is much to like about this film. It isn’t scary, gory, or particularly humorous but it does have a quirky charm. The killer has a humorous Halloween display and communicates through nods and gestures.

I liked this film but the glaring flaws in the script keep me from recommending it.

People Watch: Look for the ever whimsical Amanda Plummer as the mom.