The Pope’s Exorcist

Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden. (Rotten Tomatoes)

I don’t want my reviews to turn into a critic of the critics, but the more I read people’s comments, the lonelier I feel. I mean, am I the only one who’s watching these movies for the contortions, the body fluids, the inverted crosses, the out-of-the-tomb voices and the priests being tortured by evil entities? Because it’s all in there, and the scenario is deeper than “my daughter is possessed, do something!”.

When I said to a workmate that we were planning to watch The Pope’s Exorcist, he answered “Isn’t it the bad exorcist movie carried by Russell Crowe?”. He didn’t even watch it but his mind was made. That’s the most common thing that I’ve read in the critics and, somehow, it made its way into the mind of my workmate. Well, it isn’t true! Of course Russell Crowe is great and is a perfect match for Gabriele Amorth, but the rest of the movie is good.

My only complaint is that the rhythm of the movie is a bit on the slow side, with an uneven alternation between the scary scenes, the story scenes and a bit too many crisis of faith scenes.

While it may not be as fantastic as the original Exorcist, The Pope’s Exorcist is a good movie with a solid story, great acting and decent effects. Too bad for the slow pace which had me fight to keep my eyes open at times.

Trivia: While researching the life and work of Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Russell Crowe discovered that Amorth’s personal favorite movie was The Exorcist (1973), so much so, that Amorth became good friends with its director William Friedkin who later directed a documentary of Amorth’s work as an exorcist, The Devil and Father Amorth (2017).

Prey For The Devil

A nun prepares to perform an exorcism and comes face to face with a demonic force with mysterious ties to her past. (source: IMDB)

When was the last time that an horror movie really got you scared or, at least, uneasy? You know that feeling, when the movie is over and you turn on all the lights on your way to your bedroom…

It’s getting harder and harder to scare us. You might think that it’s because we’re getting older and we’ve seen it all. Let’s be real here, we’re not older, we still have the maturity of 12 years old kids. Maybe it’s the new wave of horror movies that ranges from slasher to gore and doesn’t even try to be creepy.

However, exorcisms and possessions still do the trick with us. From Paranormal Activity (which remains our favourite horror franchise) to The Exorcist, we still feel something when we watch movies that involve demonic possessions as seen by the Catholic Church. Probably because we’ve been raised that way, being taught the Holy Bible (one of the creepiest story ever written by man).

So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that we enjoyed this movie. We didn’t get scared to the point of taking the flashlight to the WCs, but it gets close to having us uneasy.

Now, about the movie… It was a pretty good. The cast was excellent, especially Jacqueline Byers and Christian Navarro and there even was a plot twist that I didn’t see coming, which is pretty rare in an exorcism movie. All in all, if you’re into that kind of stuff, you should definitely watch Prey for the Devil.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

To welcome a new month of October, we’ve rewatched The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

The movie is loosely based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a German girl who died of malnutrition and dehydration after undergoing multiple exorcism rituals. The film is actually more of a court room drama. However, there is no sparing of pure psychological terror.

The casting was excellent, Jennifer Carpenter portrayed a bone chilling Emily Rose. Eventhough, the film wasn’t the most creepy one I’ve ever seen, the scenes of the exorcism itself and Emily’s possessed episodes, were quite haunting.

I know that there are debates whether Emily / Anneliese was really possessed or whether she was just a very sick young girl. They claim that she suffered from epilepsy and psychosis, which would seem like a logical and scientific explanation. I still wonder what really happened to her? My science brain tells me she was ill, yet another part of me wonders whether there was more to it after all. Anyway, I guess we’ll never know…

It was the second time I’ve watched this movie and it was totally worth it. Definitely can recommend it!

Creepy side note: In real life, actress Laura Linney’s (the lawyer) TV turned itself on a few times in the middle of the night during production. I don’t know if this is true, but it’s the kind of thing that scares the living hell out of me.

Happy October every one!

The Vatican Tapes

This is the second best horror movie we’ve watched during this years’ Easter holidays.

I don’t want to spoil anything so, in short, the movie is about an exorcism gone wrong. Despite its extremely bad rating, I kind of enjoyed it. Granted, it may not be the best of its genre, but if you like exorcism, it’s worth the watch. Thumbs up for the not so happy ending cause this is where The Vatican Tapes stands out from others. The conclusion has an open end, maybe with the intention of a sequel. But in general, the movie is satisfactory with an appropriate use of handycam and surveillance video.

Maybe not the most scary of all exorcism movies out there but, like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve enjoyed it nevertheless.