HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
EXORCISMUS
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Dave Murray

Directed by: Manuel Carballo

Starring:
Stephen Billington
Sophie Vavasseur
Doug Bradley

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Emma's been showing some strange behaviour lately, when a sudden mysterious levitation convinces her parents that she's not just plain off her rocker. Fearing the Devil himself has a hand in this, they turn to the girl's uncle, a priest disgraced by a previous failed exorcism. Is he really there to help the poor girl, or is he in it for some redemption or personal gain? More importantly, do we really care about another damned possession flick?
Is it good movie?
While that would depend on how much the torrent of recent offerings have either excited you or pissed you off. Personally, I thought it was cool to have a possession movie that's actually about possession, and not about a mental illness (you know, like the coolness of having a haunting movie be about a real ghost and not about sexual abuse and mental illness). I grooved to the fact that it wasn't an American possession movie (which have all been pretty bad lately; Hell, outside of indie movies, all of American horror has been shite for years now), and the narrative twists brought something fresh and nasty to an otherwise cliched concept, but for a few reasons the movie didn't score a perfect 10 for me.

The cast was okay, and I especially loved Sophie Vavasseur (the little Brit girl from RE: Apocalypse) as Emma. It's hard to pull off demonic possession scenes, especially with the great work that's been done before. While the hokey effects didn;t back up her performance much, she did a great job with what she was given. Stephen Billington did a great job as Uncle Christopher, the conflicted priest out to prove that the Devil really exists. That was the big twist here folks, the one thing that differentiated this movie from the countless others of its ilk. The priest draws the exorcism out over many days, and only performs short sessions which he videos, not to help poor Emma, but to make the Devil manifest so he can prove to his superiors that he's not a raging screw up who killed a girl during another exorcism. Too bad the rest of the flick didn't measure up to this twist, because outside of this premise (although it does add a certain nastiness to the proceedings) the movie is a "possession-by-numbers" that touches on every cliche in the book. Rounding out the cast were Emma's annoying parents, and a short cameo by Doug Bradley (PINHEAD!) as an older priest and Christopher's superior.

The movie looked great, and was very competently shot. The mood was suitably creepy when it needed to be, the cast was good, and all told the movie was entertaining. Aside from the predictability of the movie, despite a unique angle, one major thing weighed this one down for me - the effects were not that great. We've seen some stellar possession effects and makeup in the past (the makeup in Amityville: The Possession comes to mind...gnarly!), and here we get very low end makeup and standard effects. The levitation was cool, but the demon voice was laughable, and the big manifestation of the devil had Emma floating in the air, striking a silly Jesus Christ Pose, and using that silly demon voice. It was a supremely lame moment in an otherwise good movie and a giant missed opportunity.

All told, Spanish director Manuel Carballo gave us a pedestrian yet entertaining possession story, that while being well made, fell short of the awesome mark and failed to capitalize on the potential offered by a different twist on the possession story. The idea that the exorcist is doing it for almost purely selfish reasons is an idea that is never explored that often, and it serves to make the priest an even bigger villain that the demon doing the meat-sack puppet dance. Too bad the effects were not that great, and that the interesting and deliciously evil premise was not fully explored, because this movie could have been great instead of just good.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1. The flick looked solid for a screener.

Audio: All we had here was English (Dolby Digital 2.0) and demonic gibberish, but the Region 2 DVD has Dolby 5.1 and English subtitles.
The Extras
Nothing on this screener.
Last Call
It's not as killer awesome as The Exorcist, and it's not as insipid and lame as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, it just falls into the humdrum territory in between. Poor effects and a failure to fully realize an awesome twist hampered what was otherwise a very well made and watchable movie. Maybe those things won't bother you and you'll dig the shit out of this movie. For me, it was more of the same, which is okay to watch, but I wanted this film to sucker punch me a bit.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More