Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
There are exactly two elements in this movie that work. The first is a
well-done special effect of an imploding screen. The second is the choice
to have the saliva of the possessed woman bear an unmistakable resemblance
to... another substance. This becomes the only element of the sexual
subtext that is genuinely unsettling, rather than just unpleasant and
Other than that, this is a poorly-made attempt to rip off "The Exorcist". And by "rip off", I don't mean just that this was a possession movie made to cash in on the popularity of "The Exorcist"; I mean that elements from the Blatty/Friedkin production are copied so shamelessly that it evokes disbelieving laughter at the effrontery.
Sadly, "The Tempter" fails to do what "The Exorcist" did, and give those elements a context that makes sense. The Blatty/Friedkin film remains compelling because it is a mystery; it is not about the shocking visual effects but rather of a truth that no one wants to believe. Every scene contains a clue to the mystery; every clue chips away at civilized denial that such a thing could happen. This movie could actually have gone "The Exorcist" one better, by constructing the same sort of mystery and treating the strong subtext of sexual temptation as a piece of the puzzle and not just a chance for cheap thrills. Instead, this movie is made with the vague notion that projectile vomiting at a priest is boffo box office, baby. "The Exorcist" is clockwork inside and "The Tempter" is just Jell-O.
This movie gets a really bad rap, but that's really not
the whole story. Is the acting (with the exception of John
Reynolds) mediocre to horrible? Yes. Is the plot thin,
confusing and incoherent? Yes. Do the driving (and wrestling)
montages eat up lots of time to no real effect? Yes.
But still... you can tell that this was someone's work of love. There are touches here and there that show what it might have been with a real budget and real actors and a real scriptwriter. There really is an atmosphere to this movie, something that's missing from many "better" films.