Top five Satan movies

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Lars Von Trier's new film Antichrist divided the critics at Cannes, but its July release is already stirring a forgotten well of fear in us. We're not sure why but there's something about Beelzebub, Satan, "he who bears 666: the mark of the beast" - call him what you will, that taps into a dark place in our psyches, a place that's still occupied by the nightmares of "Devil films" from the past. Here, we present our top five:

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1 The Omen (1976) Devil child Damien Thorn, killer Doberman dogs, eye-pecking crows, special religious daggers, falling church spires, music that makes your teeth hurt. We're still scarred from the experience.

 

2 Rosemary's Baby (1968) Mia Farrow, sinister elderly neighbours, leafy hands on pregnant tummy, baby paranoia, increasingly distant husband. Help me Mummy, I'm frightened.

 

3 The Exorcist III (1989) Gold ingots in children's heads, creeping feeling of dread, horrible scene in a hospital, George C Scott as the goodie. Deeply nasty, perhaps even more so than the original.

 

4 The Devil's Advocate (1997) Al Pacino as high-flying devil, lots of naked flame, mysterious stack-heeled shoes, killer tramps, pregnant wife going mad, suicides-a-plenty. Tolerable.

 

5 End Of Days (1999) New York, Millennium eve, the devil (Gabriel Byrne) needs a shag, Arnold Schwarzenegger is determined to stop him. Surely, it would take more than an ex-cop to thwart the Prince of Darkness? More funny than frightening.