By Jen P
Sometimes they’re cute, sometimes they’re sexy, and sometimes, they’re flat-out scary. From the broody fallen angel to the thing that goes bump in the night, demons populate our entertainment and our nightmares. They are the basis of evil, morphing into the myths of vampires, werewolves, and many other monsters throughout history. They’re blamed for the downfall of man and they’re the cause of all horrors in the world. Yet, if you believe in the Christian theology of demons, they were created from the purest of all creatures when God’s favorite angel, Lucifer, fell, thus becoming what some would call the first and worst demon of all.
Read on to experience a tour of the demonic in modern pop culture, from the friendly to the… well, to the demonic. Whether you like them good or bad, they make for hella good entertainment.
(For simplicity’s sake, I’ve included fallen angels and possessions in this demon list.)
The sweeter side of the demonic.
Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle, book and film)
I love Calcifer mostly because I love the romance in Howl’s Moving Castle (SOOOO MUCH), though this little guy is not to be discounted. A trapped fire demon, powering a wizard’s moving castle by himself? It’s no wonder Sophie likes his spark!
Raven (Teen Titans)
“Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!” Daughter of the evil demon Trigon, Raven is the emo chick on the otherwise colorful crew of Teen Titans. But though eternally haunted, she always comes through for her team. (Sidenote: is it messed up that I’m shipping some Beast Boy, Raven action?)
Aww. I don’t think he’s meant to be cute, but he kinda is. The Nazi-summoned child of the demon Azzael, Hellboy was raised for good by a kindly professor. But don’t mess with his girl, or he’ll bust out the horns—literally.
This is where the cute takes a turn for the dark.
Remember that big ass monster in Disney’s Fantasia that made us pee the bed as kids? He has a name.
Rasputin’s Minions (Anastasia)
Ain’t nobody want these little bastards tryin’ to derail their train.
Devil May Cry, Diablo, Bayonetta
And let’s not forget the animated monstrosities you can battle via Video Games!
There’s a reason Hell’s so hot…
Supernatural (CW TV)
From Crowley to possessed Dean, there’s something about these demon boys that really lights the fire between a fangirls legs.
Lucifer (Fox TV)
This show focuses on the Neil Gaiman Sandman version of Lucifer, in which the big bad takes a vacation on Earth and punishes only the evil. It’s a bad guy trying to be good, which is loveable all on it’s own, but the cast is hot, hot, hot. Especially the actor playing Lucifer himself, Tom Ellis. What wouldn’t I do…
Sexy Subcategory: YA Book Demons
These guys could fill a category all their own.
Fallen (Book and Film)
A girl cursed to die at seventeen, be reborn, and repeat the process for all eternity, never to be with the angel who fell from Heaven to love her. Ah, the beautiful drama of YA fiction.
*minor spoiler* These fallen angels live off human blood, so they’re technically vampires. Melissa De La Cruz also wrote the characters that inspired The Witches of East End, so the lady knows her romance.
Though the demon hunters are the stars of this Freeform TV series (based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare), I dare you to point out an unattractive character, demon or not.
On the cusp of sexy and creepy
A thin line.
Though he kills unicorns, which is totally NOT okay, he spends a lot of his time not wearing a shirt. Plus, Tom Cruise is the hero, so…
See more on this classic 80’s movie, here.
Jennifer (Jennifer’s Body)
Meagan Fox unhinges her jaw, and… eats people. You thought that sentence would end differently, didn’t you? When mean-girl Jennifer becomes possessed by a demon, it’s up to her loyal best friend to clean up the mess.
It’s been forever since I saw this superhero movie, and the special effects have aged terribly, but Spawn was played by uber-hot Michael Jai White. Murdered and sent to hell for killing innocents while working for the CIA, Al Simmons is resurrected as Spawn. But instead of using his new powers for evil, he seeks vengeance against those who hurt others.
Cool Trivia: this was the first time in a major motion picture that the title superhero was played by an African American actor.
And now we’ve reached the meat of demonic pop culture: horror.
I’ll admit, I never saw this one. It was a little before my time. But there was a reason I wasn’t allowed to watch it: lots of sadomasochism and gore. An inter-dimensional sex cult uses a puzzle box to find their next victim, and apparently sh** gets cray. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be sexy, but it ain’t for this geek. Though, with eight sequels, a book, and possibly a reboot on the horizon, Hellraiser might be the scary demonic film you’re looking for.
A man summons a demon to enact revenge on a group of teens. It’s campy, but so horrific it earned itself three sequels, a comic book, and a video game; not to mention, a cult following. A reboot is currently in the works.
Regan (The Exorcist)
The title says it all: when a little girl is possessed by a demon, the family calls an exorcist to get it out. Heads spin, vomit spews… you know, just casual demon stuff.
Toby (Paranormal Activity)
*Spoiler Alert* Did you think this “found footage” series was about ghosts? Nope. What makes these films especially haunting is that you never fully see the demon; it’s left to the viewer’s imagination to decide what it looks like. If you don’t mind missing some sleep tonight, check out this scene from Paranormal Activity 3. A little backstory: two little girls have an imaginary friend that the babysitter slowly realizes might not be so imaginary.
Cool Trivia: due to its low production costs and high success, Paranormal Activity is considered the most profitable film of all time.
And there you have it, fellow devourers of darkness, what did you think of that little tour? Do you have any demons to add to my list? Let me know in the comments.