Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The Stars: Doug Bradley, Sophie Vavasseur, Richard Felix, Stephen Billington
The Story: Troubled fifteen-year-old Emma is an ornery but otherwise ordinary teenager who is trapped into homeschooling by her regimental mother and all-too coddling father. Out of the blue, Emma suffers a seizure that doctors can’t account for and begins behaving erratically. Her parents believe it’s a psychological issue while her uncle who is a priest believes that Emma has been possessed. Upon witnessing their daughter levitate during her latest seizure, Emma’s atheist parents are finally convinced that an exorcism might be needed after all.
The Buzz: Also dubbed as La posesión de Emma Evans (translated as The Possession of Emma Evans), this film is surprisingly a Spanish production despite its reliance on English dialogue and the story’s British setting. Exorcismus is directed by veteran Spanish auteur Manuel Carballo and written by famed documentarian David Muñoz.
inSing says: As you can tell by both its plebeian titles (Exorcismus sounds like a black metal parody band) what this film sorely lacks in originality is made up for in its commitment to pretentious tedium. Its lead seems to be a composite of a dozen generic passive, depressive MySpace emo girls with more eyeliner than common sense. The audience fully understands why Emma’s parents are reluctant to believe in the supernatural, because sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference between satanic possession and puberty.
Exorcismus tries to differentiate itself by employing a naturalistic tone and pace. Jaunty handheld camerawork, artsy natural lighting and leisurely intimate performances by its principals creates a broody atmosphere at first but eventually comes across as annoying when you realise Carballo is just trying too hard to distract from the script’s deficiencies. The film is almost saved by a great final act containing a pretty neat twist and some genuinely unsettling imagery but it’s all too little too late. Exorcismus’ exceedingly boring and cliché-filled narrative is the true horror that it inflicts upon us.
Hidzir Junaini, aka inSing.com's Movie Lover, is 24-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for Metrowize Asia. Hidzir is the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.