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The young girl Young-shin seems to be possessed by demon and Father Kim and Deacon Choi are about to investigate the case. But to save the life of Young-shin, the have to find out if the girl is truly possessed or maybe the victim of a human force. Or in the worst case both.Written by
Exorcism movies are far too common in the film industry. With rather rigid formulas to evoke horror and uninspired screenwriting and directing, even something recent like 'The Possession of Hannah Grace' that comes with a new premise, could not trespass the overused pattern. However, The Priests shows possibility that an exorcism movie may still have a bright future.
Between his controversies, an exorcist and his new assistant, a deacon with a trauma, must perform an exorcism to a girl who in her edge of physical endurance, along with deadly terror that brings upon them.
The short premise may sound too familiar to us. The ambiance of horror and dialogues between priests, also quite known already in this kind of movie. However, what's different is how the movie narrates with the deacon's perspective. With light nuance in the beginning, The Priests gives new perspective, comedy and drama, which never quite well delivered in my exorcism-movies experience. Rather than being flat and boring, this attempt makes the buildups to the climax (the exorcism scene, of course), becomes more suspenseful and interesting. I am surprised this movie can pulled this off, since this formula is quite overused in Korean films I watch so far, but somehow it's different.
What's also makes this movie more interesting, is how the movie humanize the priests not over the top. Sometimes, the priests in many movies deal with faith problem, and we have the realization moment. This movie, while quite following similar pattern, also depicts the imperfectness and goofiness in the men who serve for the church. The rapport not makes me overly emotionally invested, but it's good enough to makes me stay interested.
The next good thing, sometimes you will listen many exorcism scenes do anything with various languages spells and so on without any explanation, but this movie gives more background to the exorcism and what is the nature of the devil. It gives more sense of depth to the movie, and I like it a lot. The appearance of a traditional Korean shaman also spices up the movie, bringing sense of reality that in the dangerous time, it is not uncommon to try different methods to overcome evil. This particular thing, is not explored well in Western movies that often portray the exorcism in only certain way.
While all's been very positive to me, I am not a fan of many clichés that happen throughout the movie (really, I've seen three Korean movies today and they all have car accident scenes) and how the exorcism scene feels quite dry rather than a blast to pay the buildups. I highly recommend this movie for those who longing for a good exorcism film, with drama plot added. It's not full of twist, but shows us that in doubt of this kind of movie, with right formula and plot, even your standard exorcism movie plot can be a gem.
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