Available in theatres and on VOD starting today, Marc Caretté’s Asmodexia (review) follows five days in the life of an exorcist (Lluís Marco) as he traverses the ancient streets of Barcelona with his granddaughter(Cláudia Pons).
The title might sound like the name of a Tromette in Lloyd Kaufman’s stable, but the film itself takes the serious route. Talking with Caretté, his passion for this project comes through even if he, himself, isn’t the most religious man when things are all said and done.
English is his second language so the interview was a bit of a struggle but probably nothing compared to the struggle of filming such an intense story about the push and pull of good and evil.
DC: Where did the term and title “Asmodexia” come from? For an unusual word, it’s easy to remember, which may help it stay on people’s radar. With your short film Castidermia as well, you seem to like to create new words.
MC: Yes, I really like to create new words, especially if we talk about horror movies. In this case, Asmodexia could be the scientific name given to demonic possession. It comes from merging the name Asmodeus, the king of the demons, with Anorexia, that terrible pathology which has horrible effects on the mind and soul of many teenagers.
DC: How difficult was the day-to-day shooting on set? This is a very physical movie and it demanded a lot from Lluís, Cláudia, Irene [Montalà], Marta [Belmonte] and Mireia [Ros]. Does this subject matter force everyone involved to increase their pain threshold?
MC: I sincerely think that I’ve been working with great actors, and our biggest challenge was that we should all understand and believe what we were talking about. We had to believe in our Lord, and then work for Him would be easier. Even I must confess that I was really impressed with the beast that Luís Marco has inside. It helped Cláudia to be stronger.
DC: Did you enjoy directing Catalonian filmmaker Mireia Ros? Having another director on set, was it easier to communicate what you wanted to her since she has been on both sides of the camera?
MC: Yes, I really enjoyed it because on set Mireia was just an actress. She never acted as a filmmaker; she just wanted to act and have fun with it, letting me work completely free with no pressure from her. In fact, I think that she adores being in front of the camera, and the camera loves her.
DC: Where else did you film besides Barcelona? Usually with this subgenre, most of the action takes place in one location, but Asmodexia is more of a road trip exorcism movie. Would you agree with that?
MC: Yes, and it’s really important for me that people understand what Asmodexia is. I used to describe it as a walk movie about possessions, a dark tale, halfway between melancholy and horror.
DC: I saw that the producer of Asmodexia, Ms Entertainment, did a market study of the horror genre to see how viable it was to continue to help more horror films reach a larger audience. Do you look at the genre from a financial standpoint where you can make films with smaller budgets that have more of a chance to become profitable because of the fan base, or have you always had a passion for horror?
MC: Well, first of all, I’m a fan of horror movies since I was a teenager. Then working as a producer and screenwriter in the Spanish audio/visual industry, specially involved in marketing affairs, I learned to produce nice videos with low budgets, [so] then why not apply it in cinema and open a door to my dreams of youth? And here we are. Yes, I’m a director that also looks [at] his screenplays of genre from a financial standpoint.
DC: Are you religious, and if so, how does working on a film about the balance between spiritual good and evil affect you and the crew while shooting? Is it therapeutic, or does it awaken personal demons?
MC: No, I’m not so religious, even though I know Catholicism so well because I live in a Catholic country. I’m also fascinated with the architecture, philosophy, and liturgy of religions in general. Catholicism tries to show us the way that we should be, and the devil accepts us just the way we are, creatures of God… Here’s where everything begins.
DC: Now that you’re finishing up press for Asmodexia, has your attention turned to your next project, Sheol, the Realm of the Dead? How similar is the premise of Sheol to Asmodexia, and how far along are you and Xavi Garriga on the project?
MC: Oh, thank you guys. Yes, Sheol is a TV series project of mystery and horror based on legends and true stories of the dark side of Barcelona. We’re still looking for a production company; why not HBO here in the USA? Perhaps we should try… But now I’m already working on the screenplay of my second feature film, a horror film of course, and I hope that we’ll be able to shoot it next year. I have a great story to tell…
Asmodexia is now available in select theatres and on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.
Eloy de Palma is an exorcist pastor roaming the darkest corners of the country with his granddaughter, Alba. Their mission is to help those possessed by The Evil One, an infection of the soul that is spreading fast, especially among the most vulnerable members of society: children, mental patients, and drug addicts. There is also a mysterious cult following them, making it more difficult to help those in need. Each exorcism is tougher than the one before, and every battle with Evil reveals a piece of young Alba’s forgotten past – an enigma that if unconcealed could change the world as we know it.