Baphomet (2021) 

At a Northern California family home, the Richardsons are celebrating an impending birth when an odd visitor makes an offer to purchase their property. When the patriarch turns him down, his group decides to get them off the property at any cost.  

Written and directed by Matthan Harris, Baphomet has a bit of a run-of-the-mill Satanists doing bad things for their end goal story, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. Here the film spends a lot of time with the family they are going after and perhaps not enough time with the bad guys of the story. Here though, it’s enjoyable on a basic level. It’s not the best film of its kind, but it’s also far from the worst. The story here is more about the family, so it edges on the drama and thriller sides of things often, but the horror side comes in and out, making it an interesting watch for those looking for horrific mayhem. 

Horror fans and metal fans (at least Cradle of Filth fans) will come to this film wanting to get what they are looking for from the story and the cast. As mentioned above, the story isn’t groundbreaking, but it is more than watchable. The main cast has quite a few players, so let’s bring up the best and the worst. The best of the bunch is Colin Ward as the father who faces off against the Satanist. While his performance is a bit uneven, he has some of the best scenes acting-wise and makes the most of his character. His work here, especially in a few more emotional scenes, has him be the best performance of the film. In the complete opposite, as the worst performance of the film and possibly the worst performance of the year so far is Dani Filth as Lon Carlson, a professor with a specialization in cults and the paranormal. He makes it look like he is utterly bored and absolutely does not want to be there, something that his interview on the bonus features on the blu ray release contradicts. His performance here just does not work, but is thankfully kept to a glorified cameo and has very little screen time. That being said, it’s bad, like Razzies bad. Surrounding these two opposite performances is a cast with  varying levels of experience and talents and thus giving varying degrees of dependable, yet unremarkable performances in most cases with a few better than the others. Of course, when a film needs villain/evil character actor, bringing Nick Principe in is always a good idea and he does what he does well here, being menacing and giving his lines a bit more menace than they perhaps had on paper. 

The effects here are something that feels highly uneven, which is unfortunate as it really works here and there, but there is a scene, which was mostly cut as shown in the extended scenes bonus, which just looks horrendous. Perhaps never showing this dead body would have worked better for the film (and the extended scenes bonus). The effects on that body are just completely amateur hour and that is too bad. A stronger outing in the special effects department here could have really elevated this film, but most viewers will most likely let it go as it’s clearly a film on a budget and great practical effects are expensive. 

Baphomet is a fun watch that most horror fans should enjoy. The performances are mostly good with some exceptions (well, one more than the others) and it has a decent amount of odd things happening, bloody elements, and Satanic cult scenes to keep most entertained throughout. It is a film that will appeal to some and those will like it, even love it at times, while other audiences will most likely highly dislike it, which is fine. It a decent film with a pretty good soundtrack, it almost feels like a 90s horror film at times and the blu release definitely feels that way. 

The extras on the blu ray release for Baphomet are pretty fun including a music video for the film with Dani Filth on vocals (something he does much better than acting), storyboards, character designs, an interview with Filth, extended and deleted scenes that really show why these were cut down or removed completely, and bloopers which shows that the filmmakers and cast are not afraid to try something and sometimes not quite land it. The extras here feel a bit like those that could be found on what was considered a packed dvd release in the early days of dvds. This is not a super deep dive into the film and its behind the scenes, but it’s fun and almost feels nostalgic.