Written and directed by Lance Patrick
Director Robert Davies is preparing to make a horror film called The Exorcism Tapes, a sort of spiritual sequel to the The Exorcist. Chris is recording the behind the scenes making of the movie to be included on the extras. The cast, including lead actress Ash, disgruntled former lead actress Kate, lead actor Phil, make-up artist Jo along with cameraman Mike and boom mic operator Terry travel to an abandoned house once known to have played host to an exorcism. Robert’s excitement of shooting at a real life horror location soon turns into a living nightmare when his cast and crew, one by one, begin to die.
Found footage movie, EXORCISM, plays out in a realistic fashion as the cast and crew of Rob’s exorcism movie meet up and make their way to the abandoned shooting location. Driving a minibus down a narrow dirt-track lane with only the vehicle’s headlights illuminating the environment, really builds the tension and anticipation of the arrival of the location. Even the weak suspension of the minibus and the comments from the passengers make the whole thing feel as though the viewer is riding with them. The arrival is stretched out further when the group have to walk part of the way to the house which takes them almost an hour. This is meant to be give the house a feeling of isolation but instead feels as though the film’s trying too hard to make the house creepier and not-of-this-world.
Once inside the home, it doesn’t take long for crazy stuff to occur. The scenes of the cast in make-up and director Rob attempting to shoot a scene are quite enjoyable, but the sudden chaos that follows feels a bit too quick and meaningless. One by one, they’re picked off but there’s not much time inbetween their deaths to fully appreciate what has happened or create a sense of tension. Instead, the scenes are filled with panic which becomes aggravating to watch.
Though the performances are adequate for a budget movie, there’s an element of unrealism due to a few of the actors trying a bit too hard. In otherwords, you can tell they’re acting for the movie rather than being so natural that you could 100% believe it was behind-the-scenes footage. The opinion pieces from cameraman Chris feel forced and out of place as do the slides of incorrectly punctuated text which regularly break up the film to put the scenes into context. These text cards hamper the momentum but I can see why they are included and to not have them might have been a little confusing. However, if edited in chronological order, the film wouldn’t have needed them.
The horror scenes are executed well but for seasoned horror fans, it’s nothing you haven’t already seen before. Mimicking the expletive-laden spiel from The Exorcist as well as being chased in some woods with jump scares and screaming villains, there’s not much to be frightened of.
I feel if the running time was a little longer, EXORCISM wouldn’t feel as crammed as it does. What results is rushed, shaky cam found footage, packed full of horror tropes and offering little in the way of originality.