EXORCISMUS

Director: Manuel Carballo

Writer: David Munoz

Cast: Sophie Vavasseur, Stephen Billington, Douglas Bradley, Lázaro Oertli, Jo Anne Stockham, Richard Felix

Release Date: OUT NOW!

When Emma Evans starts acting ‘weird’ it’s thought that perhaps her behaviour is a result of over-bearing, over-protective parenting. To blame convulsions on this psychological hypothesis seems a bit curious, but there you go. As you’d expect in this kind of movie, Emma is referred to a psychologist, but he drops dead before he has a chance to diagnose her. It’s equal parts Fulci and EuroTrash, as we get to see modern takes on the classic foreign possession film.

Priest Christopher is as eager to assist his niece as he is to laying down some ground rules which are a bit peculiar even for horror fans, such as performing it outside of holy grounds, not engaging more spiritual help from fellow brothers of the cloth, and not arresting the problem on the spot, spreading the exorcism over a number of days, with vast periods of intervals as well. This raises alarm bells of course, but all will be addressed as the film wears on, leaving room for various dastardly deeds to be performed, as if a lesson to be learnt against the dabbling with the occult.

For an audience looking for cheap scares and thrills, this is not that film unfortunately, even though it is steeped in the horror sub-genre of possessions. You don’t get to see much since the details of the exorcisms are kept under wraps by way of the narrative, although you do get glimpses of it in the final act that turn out to be nothing quite new from what’s already been done, such as the trash talking, sexual come-hithers, and more levitations, together with the Lord’s Prayer, use of holy water and other equipment in a priest’s arsenal.

When you watch a possession film you want to see some actual demonic possession, whether that’s bending backwards, walking on walls, vomiting pea soup or using foul language. In the case of this film, the director could have kept things ambiguous without ever showing us anything supernatural but, thankfully, he didn’t go that route. Exorcismus doesn’t depend on wild CGI possession gags but they are used and when they are its to great effect as they’re never over-the-top.

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