The List: The definitive ranking of devil-themed movies

Erica Thompson
“The Exorcist” [Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.]

The Evolution Theatre Company's production of “Devil Boys from Beyond” is coming to the Columbus Performing Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 21. So why not rank devil-themed movies?

1,002) “Repossessed”

I wish I could get that hour and a half of my childhood back — and the theme song by Cindy Valentine out of my head.

912) “Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny”

A twist on the deal-with-the-devil mythology. Do not watch this film if you are not a fan of Tenacious D. With that said, I love this movie and I will be beside myself when Jack Black and Kyle Gass visit Columbus this November.

10) “She-Devil”

I remember liking this movie — co-starring Roseanne Barr — as a kid, but I don't want to give it another viewing as an adult.

9) “Needful Things”

As a child, at least for me, anything devil-related was automatically scary. And I wasn't really looking for effective storytelling. According to reviews, this movie adaptation of Stephen King's novel is terrible! But I want to give it another viewing as an adult.

8) “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”

I can't believe I had the guts to watch this in the theater. I don't remember the details, but one part has always remained with me: At one point, Emily, a possessed woman, is faced with a choice by the Virgin Mary. I won't reveal it, but I was moved — and even inspired — by Emily's decision.

7) “Devil”

A sort-of comeback by M. Night Shyamalan (he took on a producer role, and the plot was based on his story), “Devil” concisely and effectively presents a tale of five strangers trapped in an elevator and doomed to die at the hands of the devil. Despite the PG-13 rating, the film was chilling; my sister left the theater crying and praying.

6) “The Omen”

Whenever I think of “The Omen,” I think of this dialogue from “Seinfeld”:

Elaine: “Hey, Kramer. Listen, you've seen ‘The Omen,' right? What exactly was that kid?”

Kramer: “Who, Damien? Nothing, just a mischievous, rambunctious kid.”

That about sums up my knowledge of the film because I'm too afraid to watch. But it is widely praised among critics.

5) “The Devil Wears Prada”

As tired as I am of seeing Meryl Streep win everything, you can't deny her talent. When she's good, she's good.

4) “Fallen”

OK, so it's devil-adjacent, but this movie is everything. Denzel Washington and John Goodman (trying not to hold the “Roseanne” reboot against him) are pure magic when they team up. *Whistles “Time is on My Side.”* (If you know, you know.)

3) “The Devil's Advocate”

Al Pacino is cast as the devil. That's all you really need to know. And I'm not even mad the devil found a journalist to be a suitable host, second only to a lawyer. Also, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron are great in this movie.

2) “Rosemary's Baby”

The uneasiness, performances (Ruth Gordon is amazing) and commentary on women's reproductive rights still hold up — as we examine our feelings about whether to separate art from problematic artists like director Roman Polanski.

1) “The Exorcist”

An enduring classic, “The Exorcist” was the first horror film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It's on all the notable top horror lists, and it's the only scary movie I was too frightened to finish watching. Maybe I'll watch the second half one day — in broad daylight with my future husband in a room full of puppies.