Realm of Satan. 2024. USA. Directed by Scott Cummings. New York premiere. 80 min.
A decade after his acclaimed short Buffalo Juggalos, New York–based filmmaker and editor Scott Cummings’s debut feature centers on another tantalizing group at the margins: the Church of Satan. Instead of sensationalizing or proselytizing, Cummings taps into the Church’s own strong aesthetic identity to craft an atmospheric portrait from the inside out, knowingly dealing in ceremony, fantasy, and the occult. In a series of largely wordless tableaux, the mundane and the extraordinary collide as the film follows Satanists in their daily lives (and maximalist decors). Transgressive and irreverent, gracefully uniting hardcore vérité and visual hijinks with Cummings’s avant-garde roots, Realm of Satan is a heady look at a subculture that has an undeniable grasp on the imagination of the United States and beyond. Recipient of the Rooftop Films Edgeworx Grant.