‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin’: The Terrifying Real Mythology Behind Demon Asmodeus

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is the seventh horror franchise installment and a full reboot. Toby is the demon encountered over the course of the previous movies, but Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin introduces a new demon named Asmodeus. However, this demon is based on a real, albeit obscure one. The Paranormal Activity franchise may be reborn, but only time will tell if Asmodeus will return as the series antagonist.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin.]

‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin’ introduces a high-level demon in Asmodeus

'Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin' star Emily Bader as Margot looking terrified in night vision
Emily Bader | Paramount Players

The seventh Paranormal Activity follows Margot (Emily Bader) as she seeks to make a documentary about tracking down her family roots in an Amish community. However, she discovers a mysterious church hidden deep in the forest with imagery of an entity called Asmodeus. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin includes some quick surface-level details about the demon, but it doesn’t go very deep.

Asmodeus is one of the seven princes of hell. He’s supposed to be incredibly talented at employing his wickedness. Asmodeus is the prince of lust and he will pursue anybody as a victim. 

The prince of lust’s true form is a monstrous creature with three heads resembling a sheep, a bull, and a man. The human head may sound the most innocent, but it has pointed ears, a hooked nose, sharp teeth, and can breathe fire.

What is Asmodeus’ origin?

Many demonology stories have been lost to time. However, Asmodeus has a few different interpretations. Some depictions say that he was one of the fallen angels alongside Lucifer. Asmodeus married Lilith, which makes both of them tempters. Together, they procreate evil demons to wreak havoc upon the world.

The demon seeks to drive newly married men mad and leads them to cheat on their wives. Scholars often refer to him as being partly responsible for the Seven Cardinal Sins that are in place to ruin human souls.

Asmodeus’ story crosses with King Solomon in one iteration. He’s able to control the demon with a magic ring that an angel gifted to him. Asmodeus ultimately tricks Solomon to take off the ring that gives him protection and launches him over 1,000 miles away. He takes Solomon’s place and rules Israel for years until the king returns. 

How the demon’s personality aligns with ‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin’

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin doesn’t give much background on Asmodeus. Grace finds markings in the ominous church that mention the demon’s name. The “Amish” community has the goal of keeping Asmodeus under control. By containing him in a woman’s body, he isn’t able to be unleashed upon the world. However, Grace isn’t willing to go down so easily.

Asmodeus champions lust. Grace’s mother having sex with an outsider is the only real indicator of lust in the movie. The community looked down on such sexual practices, which would have historically been blamed on Asmodeus. This essentially dooms the bloodline, as Margot discovers that she’s next in line to inherit the demon. However, instead of Asmodeus seeking out such a person like in the mythology, their bodies are given as sacrifices to the demon to protect the world from its horrors.

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin takes Asmodeus in their own direction. It pulls a couple of elements from the demon’s origins, although it’s clear that they just didn’t want to have a made-up demon this time around. However, Asmodeus has so many iterations, it’s not too surprising to see the movie take its own direction. Nevertheless, Asmodeus still has a mythology that roots back across various religions over a large period of time. He certainly isn’t one to mess around with.

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is streaming now on Paramount+.

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