Sator – USA, 2019 – reviews

Sator is a 2019 American supernatural horror feature film about a malevolent spirit that manifests itself via a receptor.

Jordan Graham (Specter) directed, wrote, edited, and composed the score for this low-budget movie that has been five years in the making. The Mistik Jade Films production stars Michael Daniel, Rachel Johnson, Aurora Lowe, Gabe Nicholson, June Peterson and Wendy Taylor.


Adam (Gabe Nicholson) lives a lonely existence in a cabin in a desolate forest, checking “Deer Cam” feeds on his computer and occasionally receiving visits from his brother Pete (Michael Daniel). Another family member looms large in his life: his grandmother “Nani” (June Peterson), who has long been a receptor for a spirit she calls Sator.

This presence has been getting into her head and “training me, teaching me to be a person,” Nani says, and Adam slowly discovers that it has a more malevolent purpose as well. No longer confined to Nani’s psyche, Sator begins manifesting in other ways, threatening the lives of Adam and his troubled family…


“The setting, concept, and personal nature make the film as engaging as it is foreboding. The subtle performances and cinematography work to craft a horrific and terrifying experience. While not a perfect film, Sator is an exciting entry into the horror pantheon…” Brendan Frye, CG magazine

” … with many long, eerily composed static shots, the filmmaker finds a chillingly austere beauty in mist-shrouded woods and snow-covered fields. Sator draws you in and holds you captive, and then freezes your blood with freakish visitations and moments of unflinching violence.” Michael Gingold, Fantasia

Sator is a different kind of horror movie for sure. It’s minimalist in many ways and has slow-burner qualities that are not for everyone. But the horror vibe and intensity of it all should be elements everyone can appreciate. You just need to focus on watching the movie and not be on Facebook or Twitter while watching it.” Karina Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

“The deepening isolation of the woods brings out some real classic chills. You can feel the film play from the playbook of films such as The Blair Witch Project and It Comes at Night. What holds Sator back from reaching the height of a true horror masterpiece, however, is its oppressively slow burn.” Thomas Wishloff, In the Seats

“You’ll ask yourself if it’s just a genetic fluke that the majority of family members hear voices or if it is something else, something far more sinister and all-consuming. If you can be patient and don’t mind the slow pacing, this film will imprint its mark on you.” Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish Conjurings

“The use of the contrast of light and sound does pay off handily when Graham wants to pull off a jump scare moment, and there are a couple of WHOA! doozies in the film. I have to think this is highly intentional. It creates a cold cinema scape and it has a purpose about it, but it is all head, no heart.” The Scariest Things

“If The Blair Witch Project isn’t your thing, then Sator probably isn’t going to land with you either. Both rely on atmosphere and suggestion more than visuals, and both take a minimalist approach to horror until they punch you in the gut with an unexpectedly horrifying, unforgettable ending.” Gena Radcliffe, The Spool

“A lot of time and effort also went into crafting the film’s intricate story. I just wish Sator had been a bit more accessible at times. A challenging film isn’t a bad thing, but I shouldn’t feel like I’m working to sort out the plot either.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

  • Michael Daniel … Pete
  • Rachel Johnson … Evie
  • Aurora Lowe … Deborah
  • Gabriel Nicholson … Adam
  • June Peterson … Nani

Filming locations:

Santa Cruz, California
Yosemite National Park, California


Sator had its world premiere at the Fantasia 2019 festival on July 21st.

Image credits: CG magazine | Fantasia | Heaven of Horror

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