Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Stephen Billington, Sophie Vavasseur, Jo-Anne Stockham, Richard Felix, Doug Bradley
Directed by Manuel Carballo
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Man has long debated the existence of good and evil, angels and demons, God and the Devil. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? In the end we’ll all find out soon enough. Yet, if there were a way to prove it one way or the other, how far would you go to do so? This is just one of the many questions laid out in Filmax International’s release of director Manuel Carballo’s Exorcismus: The Possession of Emma Evans.
Emma (Vavasseur) is just your average fifteen-year-old girl looking to raise a little hell, much to the chagrin of her parents. She’s at that age of experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and of course boys. Yet, one night things get a little out of control. Emma and her cousins decide to push the boundaries far enough to invite evil into their lives, more specifically Emma’s.
It’s not long before the poor thing is breaking out into seizures, seeing and hearing things, and experiencing the most troublesome of all – dealing with bouts of memory loss. Even scarier, during her black-out spells bodies begin to mount. Accidents begin to happen and loved ones begin to suffer. Good thing for her and her folks that they have a priest in the family, Father Christopher (Billington), who has a rather sordid history with exorcisms. With nowhere else to turn, the Evanses invite the man of the cloth to stay, and that’s when the true battle for Emma’s soul begins.
Let’s be very clear. Exorcismus: The Possession of Emma Evans is not afraid to tackle the more over-the-top aspects of possession films. Happenings go straight past mere bodily contortions and head into the land of the full-on demonic, popularized by the often imitated Seventies classic The Exorcist. There are moments in the flick when you’re going to find yourself saying, “Wow. They went there,” and they do. Happily in fact. However, nothing is played for laughs, and things never feel too cheesy. This demonic baby has a lot going for it, particularly Vavasseur, who is in almost every scene and does a good job carrying the film on her slim shoulders.
Carballo has created an experience that will prey upon your senses via strange static-like noises and hand-held camera moves that will jar you without resorting to the way overdone shaky-cam nonsense we’re subjected to in seemingly every other movie nowadays. Adding to the viewers’ unease is the fact that Emma is never really sequestered in one spot too long via restraints and can go all hellish anytime and anywhere. This will keep you thoroughly riveted and hanging on the edge of your seat.
Only one thing works against Exorcismus, and that’s the pacing presented here. Things have a tendency to go on longer than they should, and as a result you’ll find yourself impatiently waiting for the next shocker of a scene. A bit more time in the editing bay, and this could have easily been much more of a winner.
Exorcismus: The Possession of Emma Evans is home to a few twists and turns that you may or may not see coming. It tries to pile on the scares fearlessly, and for that it is to be applauded. Thought-provoking and at times very intense, this is one dance with the devil you’ll be pleased to be invited to.
3 1/2 out of 5
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