Exorcism is in this year, if Fantastic Fest is any gauge of the pop culture zeitgeist. It totally is, right? Right.
Between Zalava, Agnes and this movie, I’ve seen plenty of demonic women uttering blasphemy, floating and spitting pea green soup. But hey — I’m also the guy who put together a list of ten movies that I might like more The Exorcist that rip off The Exorcist. Amityville II: The Possession? Enter the Devil? Alucarda? These are the films that I love.
But I have never seen a movie where a demon tries to exorcise God from the soul of a priest, so well done The Exorcism of God and director/co-writer Alejandro Hidalgo (The House at the End of Time).
The open of this film is the end of an exorcism, with Father Peter Williams (Will Beinbrink), going against the church to exorcise a woman. The demon inside her seduces and possesses him, leading to him committing a major sin, a moment of sexual congress ends up having been not consensual, despite the whole possession, and then the priest hides it for two decades as the rest of his small town nearly makes him a saint.
So yeah — it’s kind of hard to see a man who would take advantage of a woman during an exorcism as the hero. That said, this film has some intense imagery, like a possessed Jesus, that will keep the more pious of us up late into the evening.
I’d have also liked this a bit more if it could decide what film it wanted to be: a satire against the hypocrisy of organized religion or an effects-heavy bring out the green vomit horror movie. And hey — a lot of that green goo gets al lover Joseph Marcell, Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who is really good in the short time he appears.
Look, a possession movie is like a bowl of ramen. I’ve had high-end bowls with butter bombs and organic infusions, fish head ramen at 5 AM in a Tokyo standing shop and all manner of 3-minute bowls and they’re all good. It’s ramen. I love ramen. And that’s kind of how I feel about this movie. It’s not the best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had, but I really enjoyed some of the new flavor that I found when I dug to the bottom — yeah, that demon making a priest renounce God scene is pretty great — and wish that that spice went through the whole dish.
But it still tastes fine.
The Exorcism of God will be streaming on October 19 from Saban Films. We got the great opportunity to see it early at Fantastic Fest.