Members of a religious community try to save the soul of a possessed boy and his child cohorts after he escapes from an asylum and starts murdering anyone who gets in his way.
Impressive camera shots slowly approaching a home as a twisted situation with the child Jimmy Morgan possessed and drooling in a cage on top of a bed as well as his older brother Father Frank Morgan and mother Mrs. Morgan planning and exorcism in which things seem to grow intense as well as things shaking which looked well done as well as one of them looking under a bed after this child seemed to have disappeared and a nice jumping moment on what happens here which also seemed impressive to watch.
Another well focused moment on a girl Heather in the room of the chamber looking out her window with a nice distant shot on a figure wearing a mask outside staring back at her in which this was done in a nice mysterious horror taste. Plus a nice moment that almost catches you by surprise but not quite when she opens something in her room with this figure trying to attack her but still done in a nice horror fashion regardless.
Nicely drawn in situation when Heather enters a home and asks for help with a good caring woman Mrs. Thompson answering the door and then realising that she is locked in a room and Heather herself brings in the gang of people from the chamber to kidnap her husband Dr. Thompson and wreck havoc in the home which looked perfectly twisted as well as Mrs. Thompson realising that there's smoke all around her as this looked creepy to watch.
Perfect still and peaceful moment when Lisa Marino is painting a picture as well as good camera shots on her painting this object and then she hears something outside and looks at the window to see what it is along with a nice jumping moment after things are too silent which worked in greatly.
Also another scene with her as an art therapist instructing on the mask that she holds in which this is the same object that we see the mysterious figure that's in the film along with a good shot on Jimmy looking possessed as if this moment isn't a big deal along with a tragic moment that happens here which makes you wonder as to why this is happening.
Another scene we have her talking on the phone with Dr. Fiore in an upsetting rage and fear which also seemed to be a nice add into the story while we watch on what's happening here. These moments looked hyped up and intense by what's going on in this scenario.
Perfect setting with a young couple Hope and Ralph making out as well as smoking dope and drinking outside of the chamber at night which looked nice and gloomy as well as Ralph falling in a pit and Hope going into the chamber to get some help with nice shots on this along with her falling into a slide as well as a perfect horror moment where her hand lands after she falls into a room which looked extremely unpleasant. This moment looked nice and shocking.
Nice dark moments when possessed Jimmy starts dumping dirt on Ralph which offers great horror timing on burying someone alive along with making you wonder if others were buried before him in that pit.
Perfectly focused shots on the gang torturing Lisa on a stretcher with her struggling as this looked creepy to watch on how she reacts to everything and making you watch carefully wondering if they will kill her or not by doing all of this.
Another great moment with a boy staring out the window with the object in the mask staring at him as well as him going outside and then seeing a rottweiler ready to attack him which makes you cringe wondering if he will make it back into his home in time.
Perfect situation with Heather realising that her feet are burning from the floor she's standing on which looked very strange to watch as well as to what is happening to her.
Also a great moment when Dr. Thompson is pitted against a door of nails closing in on him as this looked perfectly cringing to watch along with this situation looking incredibly deadly.
Then a still setting with the Morgan family saying grace before dinner along with a shocking moment on Father Frank cussing out at his Dad which you don't see a preacher using profanity as well as Mrs. Morgan trying to make things pleasant at the table but it doesn't work as these moments looked greatly psychological along with her demanding Jimmy to eat his dinner when he refuses. Great dysfunctional situations here.
Next we discover that Mrs. Morgan is blind which seemed confusing as there's no explanation with this at all. It seemed to work into the story though but what will happen later on.
More great torturing moments like Father Frank tied up on some sort of a burner which looked cleverly put in to a horror story such as this one as well as Dr. Fiore trying to get him out on time which makes you watch carefully as this looked perfectly deadly. In fact this scene almost seemed to pay a tribute to the Saw legacy in some ways.
Plus a great painful moment after Dr. Fiore falls into the pit and Jimmy holding a boulder above his head ready to heave it on him which doesn't look pretty by what he plans to do.
Then more demented moments that involves Mrs. Morgan towards her son Father Frank as you wonder as to why this madness is all happening which also doesn't explain itself but still done in a good fashion.
Bottom line is that Tomaselli goes back to the roots of his other horror films since Satan's Playground didn't seem to work in all that well. In fact this seemed like a loose sequel to his 2002 flick Horror with the bizarre moments happening since it focused on many unexplained surroundings.
Some nice grizzly effects even if watching people being tortutred didn't seem to carry a strong plot but yet this story is artsy horror which is why I give it good credit making it out of the ordinary and very unique.
The acting is well performed in which Christie Sanford (Mrs. Morgan) really took the bull by the horns playing someone whom is a bit of a basket case as she shows a good depressing attitude or showing great energy when the terror happens which looked great as well as her getting snappy or nasty. Plus knew on how to act demented near the end of her performance. All of this looked superb as she portrays someone different than ususal and showed alot of different talents to her persona.
Vincent Pastore (Dr. Fiore) seemed to stand out well as some sort of a shrink but when he shows his aggressions he overly does it alot. Yet shows good energy and blocking when he gets from one thing to the next. He for sure worked hard on his role as he often does in a show and deserves some nice credit for what he does here.
Carmen LoPorto (Jimmy Morgan) seemed to know his craft as a troubled child with his still, emotionless and silent type fo attitude in which he certainly made his part truly mysterious. Also shows okay enegy when being violent or deadly but at times needed to pick up the pace. Looked great when looking possessed just grabbing your attention greatly with his evil expressions and behaving menacingly which is another attention grabber.
Richard D. Busser (Father Frank Morgan) wasn't too off as his portrayal as a dysfunctional priest in which he knew on how to push someone's buttons and act convincingly smart alecky. Also shows off some good energy during his performance on an exorcism during the beginning of the flick. Plus shows great intensity when crying in pain while being tortured.
Ron Millkie (Dr. Thompson) does well with his energy while trying to struggle away after being kidnapped or reacting fearfully to things. Shows off a nice seriousness to stuff and seemed to really be on the ball of things. He packed a punch within whatever he did in his scene. Also shows off good aggressions too.
Ellie Pettit (Heather) drew across her supporting role quite well in which she shows off a nice deceiving innocent and timid manner as well as having a good soft spoken voice. Also does well with her energy for when she wrecks havoc. Was terrific screaming in pain while her feet are burning.
Lynn Lowry (Lisa Marino) was of course wonderful in her role too in which she shows a good mellow attitude while painting a picture and then shows off a scared and emotional attitude bringing the intensity to a hype. Plus she really brought out her soft behavior being an art therapist describing a mask as this looked good and calm by what she was talking about. Really brought it out disturbingly when she is being tortured to death with her crying and screaming attitude.
Flesh is torn off or burnt as well as eyes plucked out
People are burnt alive
Sides of a hand is sliced by a meatcleaver
Chopped off head is revealed
The composing is terrific as there's a variety of different sounds such as some low deep music for alot of the near suspenseful still moments. Plus great screeching and high wind effects along with some banging for the jumping moments in which this offered superb timing. We also hear rattling sounds as well as icy high pitched piano type tapping music for the still and creepy moments. There's also the odd groaning sounds which works in greatly. No criticism from these four composers whom are Kenneth Lampl, Allison Piccioni and of course Dante Tomaselli
Mrs. Morgan: You haven't touched your dinner
Jimmy: I'm full
Do you know how many starving poor children there are?
Jimmy Morgan: No