The Exorcism – REVIEW

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The Exorcism - Russell Crowe is an actor possessed!

The Exorcism with its one letter difference from the 1973 classic is not the only close association with the influential original because this latest demonic possession film is directed and co-written by the son of Jason Miller who played Father Karras in The Exorcist. That’s about as good as it gets to assimilating the classic and this version with its film within a film benefits from the presence of Russell Crowe in his second consecutive possession themed film after last years The Pope’s Exorcist.

Crowe plays Anthony Miller a washed up actor and recovering alcoholic given a life line when a director (looking like an even more brutally macho David Mamet) casts him as a priest in his own supernatural film that looks identical to The Exorcist after the original leads unfortunate demise. It’s a much needed role for Miller and it is his estranged daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins) who has her own issues having retuned to live with him after being kicked out of school and gets a job on set as her father’s PA.

All starts off fine with the story beginning with Day One on set and Lee befriending and developing a relationship with Blake (Chloe Bailey) an actress in the film within a film and Niles from Frasier sorry Father Conor (David Hyde White) as the on-set theological advisor. But all quickly turns hellish when Anthony’s own behaviour deteriorates when Lee, in one of the films effectively creepy sequences, finds her father at the bottom of the stairwell muttering Latin rituals to himself. Satanic panic soon impacts on the film’s production putting it and the films crew in jeopardy as it leads towards the inevitable Exorcism of the title.

Joshua John Miller has a lot to draw on from his father the late Jason Miller and The Exorcist and anyone thinking that film sets are all glamour is played on here as being anything but that when all alone on a dimly lit soundstage.  The Exorcist, The Omen and Poltergeist all had stories of alleged supernatural goings on and is a decent premise for such a film and it all gets a bit meta with what is the films only original but of thinking. There are some half decent set pieces here and Crowe is an imposing physical presence but Sam Worthington in a supporting role is wasted in a genre which has been plundered to such extremes now that it is difficult for modern audiences to understand just how much of an impact The Exorcist made.

related feature : The Exorcist films rated….

related feature : Michelle Ryan & Phillip Martin Brown chat to us about their new horror film, ‘Frankenstein Legacy’

Here’s The Exorcism trailer…..

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