Director: Alejandro Hidalgo Starring: Joseph Marcell, Will Beinbrink. México/Venezuela/USA. 1h 38m
Every few years there’s another game changing exorcism movie, and these stand out to the weekly releases of the same old tripe. But what makes this heavily laced CGI movie stand out from the rest? First it challenges religious scripture with a bit of cray logic but unfortunately it takes an ice age to get to the fun bits but audiences are entertained with shock moments, jump scares and lots of grisly CGI faces, sometimes with some familiarity to his previous gothic house masterpiece The House at the End of Time (2013). Having grown as a director since then he’s developed his eye but leaves behind the suspense for full out vile visuals but it won’t distract from the silliness that keeps corrupting this horror.
Opening with a homage to the greatest exorcism movie all time The Exorcist, our hero priest Peter WIlliams (Beinbrinnk) arrives, lamp lit, to the home of a young girl who’s clearly possessed, and taking no note of his mentor Father Michael Lewis (Marcell) he goes straight in to save the girl from the jaws of Satan. Things go terribly wrong but somehow he passes it off as a success and he hailed a hero. 18 years later the transgression from the exorcism comes back and he has to start the fight all over again, but this time the stakes are higher ,even teaming up with Father Michael he doesn’t favour his chances.
It’s really refreshing to see Joseph Marcell on the big screen again, he’s forever the uber polite and delicate man who we can all look up to. There’s been a shift in modern culture and cinema is reflecting how we perceive priests, usually half cut and drunk but with bigger ideas that often lok out of the box, Marcell introduces Beinbrink to a few new tricks, a holy water mist to stop spirits from floating into other bodies and kicks off the ideas that sticking to one ritual for exorcisms means that priests are open for exploitation as demons learn and adapt, and the foe in this movie is full of tricks, not only had it learnt it’s willing to adapt and attempts to exorcise god out of the priest, after all as the tagline states, God and Devil cannot exist in the same body. This opens up the game for so much fuckery! Let the battle of the exorcisms commence.
“Mescall, the best holy water I’ve ever found”
– Father Michael Lewis
With googly eyes nuns laughing maniacally laughing as they gouge out eyes, lots of girls in white night dresses and foul faces screaming and masturabating are things we’d expect to see in any other possession movie or even something from Rami.. .maybe.. but in between there’s a touch of sophistication and challenging ideas of anti exorcism and morality which leaves the viewer with something interesting to think about but for me the crowing visual is something similar to the Argentina Belzebuth, a rotting Jesus demon character, is this the new face of the exorcist genre?
Related: Belzebuth (2017), The Rite (2011), The Last Exorcism (2011), The House at the End of Time (2013)
Lists: Modern Exorcism Films 2000 +