Dwellers The Curse of Pastor Stokes (2020)

Director: DenShon Hardy
Starring: Sean A Kaufman,Tiffany Brown-Tavarez, Alan Bendich, Stan J Adams. USA. 1h 33m

There a lot of question marks hanging over the heads of everyone involved in DeShon Hardy’s paranormal horror that follows a curious Pastor, Jonathan Stokes (Kaufman), when his fellow clergymen Bishop Taylor (Bendich) is on his deathbed, he reveals an interesting concept that the spirits that are released during an exorcism simply follow the priest back to their church and wait to follow their parishioners home to haunt them and thus spread like an occult disease.

The chilling concept it played out as various people who had been treated by the church all seem to have a returning entity that crops up to trouble their homes once again. This gives Hardy a perfect opportunity to explore all aspects of a haunted home, possession, hauntings and the paranormal in general. Some of the scenes are set up really well and at least offer a quick jump scare, however, ghosts under bed sheets reveal nothing once the sheet is pulled away, it’s a simple trick that YouTubers have been using for a while. The biggest problems is how the scenes are presented in a slightly nonsensical manner, a girl is woken up at night by a ghost, she’s scares and calls for her babysitter, but then later she’s playing with an invisible girl, it freaks out the babysitter but why is she doing this when she’s apparently afraid of this particular ghost, I feel it could have been arranged slightly differently for maximum effect. Another gripe is the addition of a dark haired girl in a white nightdress who keeps reappearing during these malicious night time hauntings this is just too cliché to take the entire film all too serious.

To it’s credit the film is actually watchable, there is a great array of diverse families having to deal with different aspects of the paranormal, and impressive to see it’s a really multicultural effort too, sadl it’s a bit disjointed, in one scene Jonathan’s partner in crime, Ali (Stan J Adams), an inquisitive African American pastor who goes out of his way to help, manages to start piecing together a puzzle from the names of the possessed, but the answer flashes up before he works out the answer, but despite all the curious cutting issues and the strained acting and laboured dialogue it’s worth watching through at least once.

TLDR 

Rating 2/10

Related: The Evil Rises (2017), Coven Of Evil (2018)
Lists: Exorcism Cinema, Hero Priests, 10 Excellent and Not so Excellent Exorcism Movies
A:The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Exorcisms and Possessions in Cinema

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