Friday, August 5, 2011

One A Week Reviews #30: Exorcismus

A week late, but frankly, I'm a busy boy lately. A somewhat standard devil possession movie with a few nice twists in the telling - reviewed for DVDsnapshot!

Official Synopsis:
This dark tale of supernatural possession from director Manuel Carballo combines classic horror with riveting family drama. Fifteen-year-old Emma (Sophie Vavasseur, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) is going through the growing pains of teen life, believing her parents don't understand her and longing for the independence that's still a few years away. When Emma falls prey to a series of seizures that leave doctors and psychologists baffled, her parents summon a priest (Doug Bradley) to help the girl. But what lurks inside Emma is far more dangerous than they could have ever imagined. Exorcismus mounts to a pitch of horror from which you won't be able to turn away.

Our Take:
Also known as “The Possession of Emma Evans,” Exorcismus suffers from being being another one of the dozens and dozens of films to trod the same ground that The Exorcist carved out and defined. This film's approach to separating itself from the pack is to focus on the suburban banality of the nuclear family and constantly-moving, intrusive camerawork. That's not enough to distance it from the tropes of the pubescent girl thrashing in seizures, speaking in ominous voices, and generally expressing full Regan-itis.

The most disturbing part for many Exorcist audiences are the medical sequences, which are disposed of here in the opening credits, right down to the spinal tap. Since we can't separate it from the rest of the pack, let's look at what Exorcismus does right or wrong on it's own terms.

Emma Evans' awkward adolescence gets only moreso when she's stricken with unexplainable seizures and behavior issues- at least those beyond simple petulance. Before long, she's acting out under hypnosis (well, not exactly so much as the doctor drops dead), hallucinating cockroaches, and levitating. Coupled with her tendency to try and kill family members, has her turning to Uncle Chris, a priest suspended for his involvement in a teenager's fatal exorcism. Before long, he's got Emma strapped to a chair and all but spewing pea soup.