HAPPY HOLIDAYS: Top 10 Films With The Devil (Mania.com)

By:Josh Gordon
Date: Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Well, it’s that time of year again. Chestnuts roasting over open fires, the smell of Christmas pine in the air and all that holiday cheer. But what’s a Maniac to do if you’re not the Christmas spirit type? Or if you just prefer your holidays with a little horror in them? These movies possess the very best representation of the Prince of Darkness, or at least they show, in glorious detail, all the ramifications and then some of walk into his neck of the woods.

Now, go read the list and afterwards say 10 “our Fathers” and 10 “hail Marys  

10. Legend (1985)

Directed by Ridley Scott; Starring Tom Cruise and Tim Curry

Like it or not, Ridley Scott’s foray into fantasy explodes every time Tim Curry is in a scene. A giant with red skin and huge horns, the devil is portrayed more classically here than in any movie of recent memory. The scenes of Hell are straight out of Dante and other fine art interpretations. In fact, that is main reason to watch Legend when it comes on the TV is for these sequences.


9. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Directed by William Dieterle Starring Edward Arnold, Walter Huston

Walter Huston plays Scratch, our old friend the Devil, in this whimsical fantasy classic. Webster is about a farmer who, while good at heart, makes that darn deal and ends up, of course, regretting it. A charming picture that has strong elements of darkness as well as light.


8. The Devil Rides Out (1968)

Directed by Terence Fisher; Starring Christopher Lee and Charles Gray

A Hammer classic- The Devil Rides Out is a very stately satanic story from British authorDennisWheatley with a screenplay by Richard Matheson (Twilight Zone, the novel I Am Legend). This one has all the trimmings, pentagrams, devil worshippers in groups of thirteen, safe magical circles and even a visit from the master of darkness himself!


7. Bedazzled (1967)

 Directed by Stanley Donen; Starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are pure magic in this delightful romp about a frump (Dudley Moore) and the Devil (Peter Cook) that promises him love but be-devils him every time. Hilarious stuff from director of ‘Singing in the Rain’ and ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’.


6. Angel Heart (1987)

Directed by Alan Parker; Starring Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet

Mickey Rourke plays a detective looking to track down a singer for a client named Louis Cyphre.  A horror-noir, Angel Heart gets better with time. Look out for DeNiro’s (as Cyphre) subtle but intense performance. The films also showcases New Orleans as a city steeped in atmosphere and rich in occult history. Lisa Bonet naked doesn’t hurt either.


5. Exorcist III (1990)

 Directed by William Peter Blatty; Starring George C. Scott and Brad Douriff

So the devil himself might not actually show up in this one but his presence is so dominating and parts of this movie are so evil that it absolutely deserves inclusion on this list. Exorcist III might be the most unappreciated horror film of all time. Original Exorcist scribe William Peter Blatty helms this creepfest with aplomb. This film takes place several years after the original and brings the pain. George C Scott takes over for Lee J. Cobb and we’re none the wiser. The movie also (thank the Lord) completely ignores Exorcist II. Brad Douriff (Child’s Play, Lord of the Rings, and a thousand other films) gives one of his very best performances.


4. The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Directed by Taylor Hackford; Starring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron

The Devil’s Advocate is one of the best and darkest horror films main-stream Hollywood has ever made. Remember, this was a huge summer movie. Are you kidding me? By the middle of the first scene the audience is totally traumatized. ‘Advocate’ still has the power to disturb and watching Al Pacino’s speech at the end of the film. Also check out the arc of Theron’s character. It was her performance in this film that got her the Oscar winning role in “Monster”. Some great character acting from Coach’s Craig T. Nelson Judith Ivey, as Keanu’s mother, also help to make this a classic.


3. The Omen (1976)

Directed by Richard Donner; Starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick

Ok, so the Devil doesn’t really appear in this one but his son is close enough to get this movie the number three spot on our list. Ignore the absurd remake and revel in the dark, evil shadows of the original. Superman helmer Richard Donner did this little bedtime story before he moved on to the man of steel. Pretty much, people stopped naming their kid “Damien” after this movie came out, that and introducing the number 666 into the pop-culture vernacular (where would heavy metal be without this film?) make this a must see.


2. The Exorcist (1974)

Directed by William Friedken; Starring Ellyn Bursten, Linda Blair

A must have for any horror related list. This may not just be one of the scariest, best horror movies ever made but it’s one of the best movies ever made in ANY genre. The Devil makes his presence known through a young 13 year old girl Regan (Linda Blair) with some of the most offensive and haunting imagery in cinematic history.


1. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Directed by Roman Polanski; Starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes and Ruth Gordon

One of the best horror films of all time, Rosemary’s Baby has a way of getting under your skin and staying there long after the picture ends. Its atmosphere of paranoia is unmatched in any film and with the cast and production crew that this film has, how can you go wrong?