Starring: Dougray Scott,Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou USA. 2015. 1h 31m
I’m not sure why I had such high hopes for this film, the posters were quite dramatic and I guess it was a vain hope that this would be a dark insight into the secret world of the vatican’s archives and their documentation of some batshitcrazy exorcisms but then I remembered that this is Hollywood and therefore I was more likely to see all of the Exorcism Movie Sins instead.
Everything about this movie is typical, it makes all of the usual mistakes and doesn’t break any new ground into the world of possession/exorcism movies, but it doesn’t mean that it’s absolutely terrible, just that the predictability makes it less scary. Using the last weapon in it’s arsenal it does provide a couple jump scares and a slight twist at the end.
Following a young woman, Angela Holmes (Olivia Taylor Dudley) who starts to drink a fuck ton of water and experience a few bizarre moments, her overprotective father Roger Holmes (Dougray Scott) and useless lover Pete (John Patrick Amedori) have seen enough (and strangely missed tons) and sign her into an institution believing her to be insane, until evidence shows that priest might be more help than a doctor. So in comes the cryptic hero priest Cardinal Bruun (Peter Andersson ) and his trusty sidekick Father Oscar Lozano (Michael Peña) who is no stranger to demonic forces both in this and other films like Devil (2010).
The film takes forever to really get going, and I suppose if you’ve never seen any other exorcism movie in your life then it will give you some thrills, sadly if you’ve seen ANY other exorcism move before it’s going to seem like all the rest and not the best of the rest either. It doesn’t know if it’s going to be found footage or just a horror movie, but it utilises CCTV and news reports to make the film seem more “real life”, and maybe this is an attempt to make it seem more frightening? The main chick ???, is wooden as hell, Dougray seems disinterested and the only actor showing any passion is the hero priest who is about the only person who has any amountable presence.
If you take out the boring and lame parts there isn’t much of a movie to speak of, there is an interesting sequel lined up after a flamboyant ending but despite an awesome violent fight in an asylum this didn’t do much for me.
I have to admit that with the title of Vatican Tapes I had hoped for something that was way more in the way of found footage and that maybe included TAPES and that ran like an anthology. None of my wishes came true…
R – The Rite (2011) , The Last Exorcism (2010),
L – Selected Exorcism movies,
A – Exorcism/Possession Movie Sins, What to Expect in an Exorcism/Possession Movie
5B – Dougray Scott, Djimon Hounsou