SXSW 2023 documentary review: ‘SATAN WANTS YOU’ will fire you up.


Dollars and the Devil. SATAN WANTS YOU at SXSW 2023 is more relevant than most of us would like it to be. In 1976, Dr. Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith had an unusual doctor/patient relationship. Under hypnosis, Michelle describes dreams as Pazder records and interprets for her. These sessions became a bestselling book, ‘Michelle Remembers, and the beginning of what we know as ‘Satanic Panic.” The monetization of fear is a powerful little devil on your shoulder.

The film utilizes many media forms, from the infamous session tapes, photographs, archival footage, sit-down interviews, and clips from television appearances in the 80s. In interviews with Michelle’s sister, Charyl describes a violent childhood at the hands of an alcoholic and abusive father. But if you believe Pazder and the Catholic Church, there were an awful lot of Baby-stealing Satanists out there stalking hospitals and daycares. 

Michelle describes her recollections like scenes straight out of Rosemary’s Baby. The sheer absurdity of Michelle’s claims made me shake my head and roll my eyes. Dr. Pazder gives off quack vibes from the beginning. If you believe Larry’s family, Michelle may have been the driving force in this unusual relationship. Enough so that Marylin Pazder filed for divorce. These two were glued to one another, making money and collecting groupies hand over fist. 

You cannot ignore the similarities between Satanic Panic and the rise of “The Deep State” and QAnon. To think that one book caused such chaos for so long is downright infuriating. If they fear you, you can control them. Ask Fox News how they prefer their audience. No doubt, SATAN WANTS YOU will fire up SXXW 2023 audiences.

Film Screenings

Mar 11, 2023
Mar 13, 2023
Mar 13, 2023
Mar 15, 2023

Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams

Executive Producer:

Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams


Michael Grand, Melissa James


Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams


Blake Davey


Graham Kew

Production Designer:

Juan Gonzales

Sound Designer:

Mark Dolmont


Mark Dolmont

Principal Cast:

Sarah Marshall, Charyl Proby-Austman, Charles Ennis, Debbie Nathan, Ken Lanning, Elizabeth Loftus, Blanche Barton, Jeffrey S. Victor

Additional Credits:

Associate Producer: Hayley Morin


About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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