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The Exorcism (15)

Cast: Chloe Bailey, Adrian Pasdar, Adam Goldberg, Sam Worthington, Russell Crowe, Ryan Simpkins
Genre: Horror
Author(s): Joshua John Miller, MA Fortin
Director: Joshua John Miller
Release Date: 21/06/2024
Running Time: 95mins
Country: US
Year: 2024

Anthony Miller agrees to play the role of a priest in a remake of The Exorcist codenamed The Georgetown Project directed by perfectionist Peter Anthony's estranged daughter Leigh, recently expelled from college, agrees to work as her father's personal assistant and ensure he takes his medication and avoids the temptations of past addictions. Strange incidents send ripples of fear through cast and crew.


LondonNet Film Review

The Exorcism (15) Film Review from LondonNet

At the beginning of The Exorcism, Russell Crowe’s lapsed Catholic sits in a confessional booth and pleads forgiveness for his sins, which include “climbing inside a bottle for a couple of years” when he should have been taking care of his wife and child. His poorly written character might also consider atonement for the unholy mess of Joshua John Miller’s disjointed horror, a half-baked film-within-a-film conceit that unleashes pure evil on the set of an ill-advised remake of The Exorcist, codenamed The Georgetown Project…

Aside from a couple of efficient jump scares, spine-tingling thrills are conspicuous by their absence. The plot careens off the rails in the final 20 minutes and flickers of discomfort are extinguished and replaced with bewilderment and frustration. A script co-written by director Miller and MA Fortin asks us to believe that cast and crew of The Georgetown Project could witness a classic case of demonic possession in the middle of a take and rationalise the bone-cracking, bodily contortions as the erratic behaviour of a recovering alcoholic.

A thorny subplot concerning historic sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests is mishandled and the LGBT+ love story feels like an afterthought to loosely tether two female protagonists. When it comes to editors Gardner Gould and Matthew Woolley performing a modern-day miracle and conjuring coherence from the escalating madness, alas those prayers go unanswered. Heaven help us all.

In an unremarkable pre-credits sequence, actor Tom (Adrian Pasdar) perishes on the set of The Georgetown Project as he practises lines as the conflicted priest played in The Exorcist by Max von Sydow. Troubled film star Anthony Miller (Crowe) is hired as Tom’s replacement by perfectionist director Peter (Adam Goldberg), who loftily describes the remake as “a psychological drama wrapped in the skin of a horror”. Anthony rehearses with his estranged daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins), who has been expelled from college and will work as her father’s personal assistant.

She is happily distracted by Anthony’s co-star Blake Holloway (Chloe Bailey), a singer with a vampire TV series on her resume, who burns sage outside her trailer to cleanse bad energy. The presence of Catholic priest Father Conor (David Hyde Pierce) as a religious consultant unsettles Anthony and he exhibits troubling behaviour that threatens to shut down production. Lee fears her old man is relapsing but the demon he is fighting is real, not 80% proof.

The Exorcism is unedifying hokum that becomes incomprehensible as director Miller stumbles towards a final reckoning between Anthony and the demon. Overwrought performances in an emotional vacuum flirt with unintentional hilarity including Crowe’s embodiment of a survivor of childhood trauma. His anguish gets hopelessly lost in the supernatural lunacy.

– Kim Hu


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