May 4, 2020

GENRE | 'Porno' Theatre – Christian Teens Battle A Sex Demon

"Is this an art film?"
Katelyn Pearce Keola Racela | Porno Fandago
Fangoria / Cinestate
First-time director Keola Racela tackles sexual dysfunction in his teen horror film set entirely in a movie theatre run by a group of young Christian employees somewhere in 1992 small-town USA. Porno's relatively straightforward, all-in-one-night premise artfully unfolds in real-time after a crazed, unholy sex demon (Katelyn Pearce) is unleashed through a reel of film that turns out to be a creepy, satanic pornographic movie.

Since all the characters are well-meaning and committed fundamentalist Christians, the evil plot cleverly conjures some obvious feelings about how their faiths conflict with natural sexual urges. This erotic demon uses explicit sexual imagery to lure our susceptible teens into all kinds of trouble in their battle against evil.

All the leads (Jillian Mueller, Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Glenn Stott, and Robbie Tann) are a medley of fresh-faced young actors very much in the mold of traditional horror characters with the added religious bent. They are varied enough to riff on the usual or expected genre archetypes featuring some progressive twists to contrast more evolved current attitudes.

Written by Matt Black and Laurence Vannicelli, there's a basic but serviceable script that acts rather economically as a polished but grimy showcase for all of the talent involved in front of and behind the camera. Despite the easy setup, Racela's patient eye for visual storytelling lets his camera fluidly capture the horror thrills in psychedelic fashion.

There's a playful stylishness to Porno that makes it enough genre-bending fun. It feels like both a throwback horror flick in the early-'90s mold with enough contemporary flourishes to make it more in line with today's expectations for sexualized and violent entertainment.

Porno will be available to stream on iTunes and through video on demand starting May 8th.


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