The Exorcism squanders intriguing meta-horror with ridiculous set items | Films | Entertainment | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Russell Crowe continues his obvious obsession with demonic possession in The Exorcism, a enjoyable but flimsy unconnected follow-up to the superior but bonkers interval horror, The Pope’s Exorcist.

On the floor, the Gladiator star is ideal casting as Anthony ‘Tony’ Miller, a fading actor with a troubled historical past of dependancy who believes he has what it takes for a significant Hollywood comeback.

When the lead of an upcoming horror movie mysteriously dies on set, Tony lands the half after laying naked his soul at an audition with overbearing director Peter (performed by Adam Goldberg), who desires to take his generic supernatural thriller to the following degree.

However, the reappearance of Tony’s rebellious daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins) dredges up the previous, and he finds himself changing into the sufferer of the very factor his character is battling towards.

In comparability to The Pope’s Exorcist, a way more gleeful horror with a perfectly hammy efficiency from Crowe in an Italian accent, The Exorcism makes an attempt to delve deeper however sadly simply finally ends up treading water.

Scores of horror-heads will undoubtedly be planning double payments – a type of exorcist twist on Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg’s thrillers A History of Violence and Eastern Promises – however ending off with Crowe’s more moderen possession image is liable to ship followers to sleep.

Director and author Joshua John Miller clearly has bigger themes in thoughts for his main man than his flip as Father Gabriele Amorth; right here Crowe does an admirable job of wrangling a moderately shallow script right into a considerably layered efficiency.

The dramatic conceit begins off promising as Miller explores the underbelly of filmmaking, from sinister animatronic replicas of the actors’ faces to the all-but abusive lengths Goldberg’s director goes to unlock Tony’s trauma for his efficiency.

The Exorcism’s key location – a full-sized, basic haunted home set with shadowy corners evoking the unique The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street slashers – is jaw-droppingly realised and nice enjoyable for the digital camera and actors to get misplaced in when the movie permits itself such liberty.

Unfortunately, the scares are all anchored by a moderately drained metaphor for guilt and dependancy with no refreshing perception, and the plot rapidly descends into an completely ridiculous but all-too-familiar last showdown.

Brief gestures at Tony’s troublesome previous solely serve to interrupt the thrills, an issue compounded by the confounding presence of David Hyde Pierce’s comical Father Conor, a Catholic marketing consultant on the movie who throws the tone off-kilter in virtually each scene.

Pierce isn’t solely responsible for The Exorcism’s profoundly uncanny timbre, although, as audiences received’t know whether or not to cry or chuckle as soon as Crowe’s antagonistic function turns into clear.

After one or two considerably efficient soar scares within the first act, Crowe scurries and contorts with a dead-eyed stare or malicious grin, throwing any likelihood the movie had at real scares out the window.

This can be forgivable if the remainder of the solid had been having a fraction of the quantity of enjoyable Crowe appears to be having, however their dour self-seriousness simply doesn’t chime with what may have been a wry meta-commentary on the horror style.

While there are many charming sensible horror results and a sleazy, desolate ambiance a whole lot of trendy chillers are lacking, The Exorcism is finally a sloppy affair in dire want of a punch-up.

The Exorcism is in cinemas from Friday, June 21.