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Exorcism (2003)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 1 April 2004 (UK)
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In the city of angels - Los Angeles - no one is immune from the lurking spirits, neither good nor evil. As the end of time rapidly approaches, both forces have much work to do. Both sides ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Mr. Lansing
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Father Lansing
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Bishop Harris
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Arch Bishop
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Evil Nurse
Karen Knotts ...
Mrs. Lansing
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Sarah. Lansing
Dwayne Chattman ...
Daniel
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Gene
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Jack
Ernest Hardin Jr. ...
Evil Messenger
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Dark Prince
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Katherine Miller
...
Officer Stubeck
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ER Doctor
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Storyline

In the city of angels - Los Angeles - no one is immune from the lurking spirits, neither good nor evil. As the end of time rapidly approaches, both forces have much work to do. Both sides contend for the same souls, but which force will prevail? Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Goodness of Society has just been Invaded by Evil.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for strong thematic material, violent images and some sexual references
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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 2004 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Exorcism
Written by William A. Baker and Earl Wooten
Performed by William A. Baker
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User Reviews

The Blues Clues of exorcism films
11 November 2006 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Writer/Director William Baker has succeeded in taking all of the subtleties and all of the subtext out of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist and making a movie about it. The result? A film so incredibly shallow that it plays more like a comedy than a serious film, and even graded on the comedic scale this joke fails as it lacks anything resembling a punch line.

Where the Exorcist foreshadows with imagery in the opening Iraq sequence, Exorcism opts for a face-to-face confrontation where Mr. Lansing finds himself standing before a trio of demons who spell out their intentions … after they provide a taunting voice over in the previous scene where they make him crash his car, putting him into a coma … which comes after a mysterious nurse, played by Eileen Dietz, makes a few disturbing, somewhat prophetic, comments to Mrs. Lansing … I don't remember if that comes before or after said nurse introduces herself as Legion. But you get the idea.

The cast introduces the art of overacting to epic proportions as every character in the film wears their deepest inner monologues on their shirt sleeves while the camera dollies in to give said inner thoughts their own close-ups. Every sentence requires punctuations through a full assortment of head movement, facial expressions, and gestures. The guiltiest party? Mrs Lansing who appears to channel the spirit of a bobble-head doll.

Although this, in truth, compliments the writing that deals with over-exposing the exposition on an equally epic level. Take, for example, father Lansing who not once, not twice, not three times, but at least half a dozen times hears the advice that maybe he shouldn't rush into this exorcism alone. "What am I a choir boy?" he vehemently responds with a brooding sigh and passive glare that reveals the end of the film approximately 80 minutes in advanced.

Guys, you just need to penetrate balsa-wood. Put the industrial strength nail gun away, already.

Baker has also taken the liberty of embellishing his "Exorcist for Idiots" movie with his own dumbed down morality play, delivered on the intellectual level of "how to tie your shoes." The film constantly presents complete superstitious BS juxtaposed to an over-simplified lecture on the fundamentals of the Christian faith to the point that it sounds more like a spoof than a sincere lecture. When the film links the worst of crimes to demonic possession and goes so far as to state, "most people in prisons need exorcisms not jail time" I rolled my eyes, shook my head, and sighed. Even to my Christian ears, this is a ridiculous line of thought that gives Christianity a bad name. Don't even get me started on the scene where the demons toss around one of the punks and encourage him to drink and do drugs and indulge in other sins.

On a technical level, Exorcism's low-budget invites even more criticism in all departments not because the film possesses (no pun) a small budget, rather because it makes no effort to overcome it. Where directors like Sam Raimi and John Carpenter infused their early work with energy and creativity and delivered some classic low-budget films (Evil Dead II, Escape from New York), Baker hits a brick wall and throws in the towel. And a low budget film that lacks creativity also lacks charm.

The film looks as though the battle against the budget ended when everything made it to the screen without regard to how the pieces of the puzzle all fit together. The score, the editing, the cinematography, the special effects – all are there and accounted for – but are they right for the film? Does it flow? Is there a sense of timing? The answer is no. Especially where visual effects are concerned. A police detective talks on his cell phone amidst a crime scene that is curiously shot from a single uninteresting and uninformative angle. The detective describes how brutal this murder apparently was while standing still in the frame As if this static shot of a motionless man talking on the phone wasn't painful enough, the conversation ends and he continues to stand there so several seconds later the ghost of a little girl can appear and walk through him before he finally leaves the frame.

In conclusion, the film fails on such an epic level that its purpose becomes blurred, dare I say indistinguishable? Through its shallow production values, and even shallower writing, the only deep and provocative question left to ask after viewing Exorcism is "Was this supposed to be dramatic or comedic?"


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