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John’s Horror Corner: The Exorcism of God (2021), an exorcism movie that starts strong, really strong…

June 17, 2022

MY CALL:  This is a decent exorcism movie with a really great opening sequence. But it lacks the desired follow-through and consistent intensity promised in the early acts. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a spirited demonic possession movie. MORE MOVIES LIKE The Exorcism of GodFor more quality exorcism movies I’d recommend The Exorcist (1973), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), The Unborn (2009) or The Last Exorcism (2010).

Haunted by his deeply sacrilegious indiscretions of a past exorcism, Father Peter Williams (Will Beinbrink; It Chapter Two) has spent nearly twenty years in Mexico trying to atone for his sins. When he is summoned to a prison to assess possessed inmate Esperanza (María Gabriela de Faría) who asked for him by name, Peter is reacquainted with his sins rather directly. So he calls upon his elder exorcist Father Michael Lewis (Joseph Marcell; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) to aid him. Nothing an old priest and a young priest can’t solve, right?

I have often felt that the exorcism/possession movie subgenre is hard to nail in terms of credibility. How would a demon act? What kind of things would the devil say? Without the most vile gravity, it’s hard for me to believe the movie, the victim, or the possessing fiend. Many have tried and failed to impress me—among them The Rite (2011), The Devil Inside (2012), Belzebuth (2017), The Crucifixion (2017) and The Cleansing Hour (2019).

It’s easy to get carried away in the look or dialogue of the possessed. The make-up, visuals, sounds, words and behavior of this particular possessing demon rank high among possession movies when we first meet it. Lascivious seduction is a tool swiftly used by the fiend against its chaste perpetrator in the name of God.

The pacing is not as swift as I’d prefer, however the story builds well in its slower parts. Yet I wish the middle and end scenes were as provocative as the opening scenes, which really set my expectations high for the film. But alas, they simply could not keep up the intensity or demonic credibility. Not bad, but not as compelling as I had hoped with such a bold title—I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Director Alejandro Hidalgo (The House at the End of Time) brought us a decent movie, even a good one, but I continue to struggle to find exorcism movies that can truly impress me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2022 12:01 pm

    Growing up in a small town Baptist church in the heart of the Bible Belt during the 70’s and 80’s, movies dealing with demonic possession and such were intriguing to the point of horrifying. But now I’m like you stated, it is a struggle to find one that can impress me. I find the more subtle ones more realistic, which draws me in more since our house has a resident ghost (or whatever it is), but unfortunately I don’t believe subtle for the majority of movie goers and therefore they are all trying to be The Exorcist. Which means the huge majority of them are going to fall short. Thanks for the review!

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