Director – Alejandro Hidalgo (The House at the End of Time)
Starring – Maria Gabriela de Faria (Deadly Class, Plan V), Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Doctor Who), Will Beinbrink (It Chapter Two, Hidden in the Woods)
Release Date -2021
Rating – 3/5
One of the most effective sub-genres in horror, at least for me, is religious horror. I’m not a religious man but after growing up in the bible belt in living in Appalachia I have an unrationed fear of people of religion going too far and hurting people in the name of their beliefs. Movies like Red State really hits hard with me because I’ve seen how little devout Christians actually care about other humans when it comes to the extremity of their faith. However, as an atheist I struggle to find most religious movies actually set around the faith to be frightening or horrifying.
With that being said, there is a film from time to time that is released that is actually fun and genuinely terrifying. A few days ago I received the religious horror film The Exorcism of God for review. I was expecting another lackluster religious horror film following the same ol cliches that doesn’t work for me but I was wrong. I actually enjoyed this one. I’m not in love with it but it was fun for a first time watch.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows an American priest who is performing an exorcism alone in Mexico when a young woman becomes possessed. However, the demon flees from her and into the priest forcing him to sleep with the unconscious woman. For eighteen years he lives with the guilt of what he has done until he discovers that a young woman, in prison for murder, is possessed by an evil presence and is his daughter. Now he must save her from the evil being and risk his own soul in the process. **Spoiler Alert**
The Exorcism of God is not the new Exorcist or The Omen but it’s a fairly enjoyable religious film with some great eerie atmosphere and great tension. It is a bit predictable but the great cast and dark locations makes this one a very enjoyable first time watch with a little replay value.
The acting in this one is great. The female cast is fucking fantastic. When they are possessed they absolutely send chills down the viewer’s spine. It was also great to see Joseph Marcell in a genre film. Like most people my age, I grew up on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air so it was cool to see him in front of the camera again. I was really impressed by Will Beinbrink and his performance. His characters makes the film in my opinion and I sincerely hope we can see a follow up film and where his character goes from here.
The story for this one uses a lot of Catholic horror cliches but it does add some new twists. The locations the story takes place at makes the film work and the twists, though predictable, are still enjoyable. The film does struggle with pacing but if you stick with it you will enjoy it.
Finally, the film has some seriously bloody moments and great make-up effects on the possessed. I was not expecting the bloody and violent deaths or the great looking demons. Overall, The Exorcism of God does not reinvent the sub-genre but it is a great contribution to it. I highly recommend especially if you have a love for religious horror. It’s well worth your time.