The Vatican Tapes (2015)
Directed by: Mark Neveldine
Written by: Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli, Michael C. Martin
Starring: Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori, Michael Pena, Olivia Taylor Dudley
THE VATICAN TAPES (2015)
Directed by Mark Neveldine
In UK cinemas and On Demand from 30th October 2015 from Signature Entertainment
A birthday party turns sour when birthday girl Angela accidentally cuts herself. Her boyfriend and father take her to the hospital and all seems fine, that is until she flips out and almost kills them in a car crash. Concerned about the young woman, Father Lozano keeps an eye on her and suspects that Angela isn’t quite herself and that something ancient is at play, using her body as a host. Calling in help from The Vatican, Father Lozano must prevent Angela from harming anyone else and herself but Angela is unlike anything neither Lozano or the priests from the Vatican have ever dealt with and it looks like even the Church will have its work cut out with this particular possession.
Possession films are ten a penny these days but THE VATICAN TAPES seems to offer something that bit different to its rivals. It wastes no time in establishing the ‘possession’ of the character, a young woman who already has a keen interest in Satan, Hell and the occult. However, her harmless interests become a guide to life when she becomes the epicentre for weird happenings such as birds flying into bus windows and people reacting violently around her. If there’s one person you wouldn’t want to be around, it’s Angela, but her devoted boyfriend Pete and overprotective father Roger are unable to see what’s right in front of them until Father Lozano reveals the truth about the woman they care so much about.
Where THE VATICAN TAPES really excels as a horror and dramatic story is its approach and execution. Drawing in a vibe as seen in The Omen, the film contains a good handful of scenes that will freak you out and make you sit bolt upright in your chair. These scenes will disturb yet enlighten the viewer as we finally get a possession movie that dares to give the tired genre a kick up the arse and show everyone how it’s done. It’s creepy and frightening at times, with the evil simmering away at the surface, teasing what mighty power it could unleash at any moment. As a viewer, you can’t help but wonder what’s around the corner as distressing scenes hint at something much bigger and more powerful than the average spirit we’re used to seeing in these teen ouija board horror flicks.
Olivia Taylor Dudley stars as the fun-loving Angela who’s life gets flipped upside down at her birthday party. Nothing seems quite the same after that as she wrestles to take control of her life which seems to be becoming more alien to her each and every day. Her poor boyfriend Pete (John Patrick Amedori) does everything he can to help and even her military man father, played by Dougray Scott, is unable to do what’s best for his daughter. With her loved ones unable to do anything except stand by and watch, it’s up to benevolent Father Lozano (Michael Peña) to use his warmth, wisdom and religion to rescue Angela’s soul, if it’s still for the saving.
Beautifully shot and thrilling to watch, THE VATICAN TAPES is an unnerving, menacing tale of possession worth checking out.