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April 2011

Exorcismus

cast: Doug Bradley, Tommy Bastow, Stephen Billington, Sophie Vavasseur, and Richard Felix

director: Manuel Carballo

96 minutes (18) 2010
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
E1 DVD Region 2

RATING: 0/10
review by Gary McMahon

Exorcismus

Sometimes it's a real struggle to say anything good about a film. This is one of those times. The plot of the absurdly titled Exorcismus (aka: La posesi�n de Emma Evans) is so thin it's almost anorexic: a teenage girl called Emma (Sophie Vavasseur) is possessed by the devil after an ill-advised Ouija board session, and her renegade priest uncle (Stephen Billington) tries to rid her of the unclean spirit. There's a final twist that isn't one, and everything that happens along the way is so clich�d that it isn't even funny.

The symptoms of this girl's possession seem to be the occasional epileptic fit, episodes of self-harm and vomiting, and the urge to call her father a bastard. This is enough, apparently, for her parents to call in the priest to tie her to a wooden chair and recite cod-ritualistic rites at her whilst holding a crucifix.

The acting is appalling, the camerawork is quite frankly bizarre - the cameraman seems so ashamed of what he's filming that he keeps ducking behind walls, pillars and doorframes to hide. Honestly. It's weird. When he isn't hiding, this cameraman seems drunk, because his hands keep shaking and twitching. I've never seen anything quite like it before.

I'm a sucker for exorcism films - anything from that eternal masterpiece The Exorcist to gloriously crass cheap Italian knock-offs like Beyond The Door and the full-blooded postmodern satire of The Last Exorcism. I love them; they're a guilty pleasure of mine. But even I couldn't sit through this bucket of bilge without picking my toes and making a mental shopping list for the weekend.

The script is shit. I mean, utter shit. It takes every hoary old exorcism clich� imaginable and squeezes the life out of them, rendering them even lamer than they were in the years after Blatty and Friedkin invented them in 1973. This is one of the dullest, most plodding and un-scary exploitation films I've ever seen. I actually felt angry that I'd wasted a whole 90 minutes watching it (admittedly, I did watch the middle section on fast-forward to stop myself from smashing up the furniture and smearing myself in my own excrement).

Just remember: I watched this so you don't have to. Please don't let my sacrifice go to waste.



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