There have been quite a few movies coming out with that “Blair Witch” style of filmmaking. They seem to start very much the same with a group of people making a documentary about something that can be potentially scary. This film follows that formula by following a priest who is out to prove that he is a fraud as well as the art of the exorcism. He tells the camera that he’s been doing it for years and he does a service for the mentally ill or the fanatics who are sure that the devil is making them do the evils they have done.
The film was produced by Eli Roth and company and they have done something interesting here, They hired a director (Daniel Stamm)and the writers (Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland) who got their start in the documentary arena which explains how this faux documentary has a very true ring to it. Early in the film the priest chooses a letter he’s received as “the case” they will follow but once they get there we find ourselves conflicted on weather this young girl is possessed or weather she is looking for and answer to why she’s done the things she’s done. The director/writers did something early on that i think was genesis, They made the camera operator a character in the film. They made him a voice of concern so he becomes our voice and when the affected girl looks at him, we feel his fear. Once again…genesis.
There are plenty of good performances from our fallen priest (Cotton Marcus), the possessed girl (Nell Sweetzer) and her very religious father (Louis Herthum) but i think the star of the film fall with the director/writers in the way they make us feel very at ease in the beginning because the priest is going to expose the fraud of the exorcism but as the characters start doubting the fraud… I’m already feeling nervous for the characters as the film start to reeves up. I won’t kid you and say it’s the best film ever because it’s not. I hated the ending. I was thinking to myself “is this the best they could do?” but the first 83 minutes is so good I’d still tell people to see it. I did see some people leaving the theatre because of the strong religious bashing that goes on as well as the very scary scene with Sweetzer’s possession but all in all it was a fun time.