Two amateur filmmakers, Lee and Ross, are hired by the Catholic Church to document an exorcism of a young woman named Tina Miller. The exorcism is being performed by Father Lucas and Father Michael, with support from the Baptist Pastor Bill. Over the course of three days, weird sh*t happens.
Hey kids! Are you ready for YET ANOTHER found-footage documentary-style film talking about possession and exorcism? If you're like me, you would've given an emphatic middle finger and an even more emphatic "F*ck no!" at the suggestion of watching another me-too film that is woefully past the point of anyone caring. But this is Hollywood, and they have no idea of what real horror fans want. Or, more accurately, this is another attempt by a group of indie filmmakers trying to ride the wave when the tide's out.
If I sound negative, it's because I'd just finished reviewing THE DEVIL INSIDE and realized that I had another film in AN UNHOLY EXORCISM that was trying to capitalize on the former's success. I grew even more annoyed when after doing research about AN UNHOLY EXORCISM that the film originally came out in 2008 on DVD and was originally called CHRONICLES OF AN EXORCISM.
To say that a name change and re-release on DVD sounds sleazy is an understatement.
So, anything worthwhile about this supposed "found footage" film? Well, the redesigned cover art on the case isn't that terrible of a Photoshop job. The actress on the cover (who isn't in the film, by the way) looks kind of like the possessed Ellen Sandweiss in THE EVIL DEAD. Sure, the placement of her arms doesn't match up with the corner of the room, the cuts on her legs and face are just copied and pasted, her shadow is badly placed and...you know what? Screw it.
At the start of the film, we have Rob G. Kahn trying his hardest to outdo Heather Donahue's anxious face-to-camera moment from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Try as he might, but Rob comes off more like a strung-out version of Brian "Dante Hicks" O'Halloran. It's a sign of things to come. The script used in the film is just horrible. Whether it's the priests quoting random Bible passages in attempts to make it sound like they're performing an exorcism (I love the line by Matthew Ashford where he's trying to sound like he's rebuking the demon when in actual fact he sounds like he couldn't care less), or when two of the priests decide to have a private talk alone but tell the cameraman to leave the camera on to document it. Because that's what you do, even in reality shows, right?
The real sad part about this is that the film could've been more entertaining had they explored the tension that was between the Catholic priests and the Baptist preacher. Because, you know, Catholicism and Protestantism have always gotten along, right? Or even if they went with the religious vs. the agnostic route, since the filmmakers were playing the "disbelieving" types. Really, the possibilities were there to inject so much more into this film that could've made it unique. But no, instead we get a woman with contact lenses writhing around on a dirty bed, sounding like a bimbo from Spring Break reading the script. Next!
Video: The 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer consists entirely of your typical shaky handheld footage. As such, the transfer has that muddy look to it, with not a lot of detail to speak of. At least it's consistent with the idea that this is "found footage".
Audio: Again, the LPCM 2.0 track is consistent with low budget camcorder deals.
Basically, this is a bad 2008 film trying to capitalize on recent films like THE DEVIL INSIDE with a "clever" rename and nothing else. Bad script, wasted opportunities at something that could've been remotely interesting and just overall annoying, AN UNHOLY EXORCISM is a blatant cash-in, and a bad one at that. Coming soon to a bargain bin near you!