The Exorcism

The Exorcism
The Exorcism
Home » The Exorcism

R.I.P William Friedkin. He earned an Academy Award for his The French Connection, but remember he was also nominated for The Exorcist (1973). And this is the series of movies that owes it all to the original and its cast as Jason Miller plays Father Karras in the most iconic scene (and The Exorcist III) of the movie. His real-life son is also now trying his hands on a similar-themed horror movie with a slightly different title – The Exorcism. Joshua John Miller’s new film, written with M.A. Fortin from an uber-meta script opens this week.

It’s probably not what you expect, especially if you think it’s like The Exorcist.

Basically, The Exorcism can be seen as a criticism of both horror films and The Exorcist in particular. Therefore, we shall see how Joshua John Miller directed by actor Jason Miller connects the movies according to their titles which were originally called “The Georgetown Project” – Friedkin shot his film on location in Georgetown where he lived and used a story loosely based upon exorcisms at Georgetown University Hospital and other hospitals like them during 1940s. In this way, Russell Crowe stars yet another one in his possession genre stories, only unlike 2023’s The Pope’s Exorcist this time around Crowe is Anthony playing Anthony instead of being a priest.

Though not quite as impactful as one may have desired by some fun supporting turns and its movie-within-a-movie approach alone might keep your attention throughout.

First things first; directing-wise, Miller knows how to handle cameras properly. Just like that elegant opening shot when we see an unnamed actor (presumably someone who was hired before Crowe came aboard), walking around the set of the movie-in-a-movie rehearsing lines on camera while strutting around with confidence that does him no justice at all. This is a great opening shot for a film about possibly cursed film, like David Lynch’s last masterpieces, Inland Empire.

Following The Final Girls (2015) Miller and his writing partner Fortin have so far created two meta scripts. Is this trilogy material? To end his career as a director spanning four decades, Miller said that his most recent project is “an FU letter to Hollywood” (like his father he also acted in such horror classics as Halloween III: Season of the Witch and Near Dark). Therefore, there may be another which could tie together the themes present in both The FInal Girls and The Exorcism.

Although it started well, The Exorcism has more than just its great opening scene; Adam Goldberg plays Peter: the woman-hating director who will now feature Anthony after the first actor mysteriously pulled out. It is just an example of how there are several loopholes which convenient questions were not answered. In fact, he does not ask much about what happened to the previous hiree – to be precise – Anthony does not wonder much why whoever was originally hired quit right before him either. This can be seen also at one point in time during the climax but those are minor stuffs.

Maybe Anthony doesn’t brood on such questions because he is an addict and a retired loser, looking for any work now. Therefore, when the opportunity comes knocking at his door, he sweeps in. As a result, even his estranged teenage daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins) becomes part of the crew serving as a PA.

Lee then gets cozy with another member of the behind-the scenes team Blake (Chloe Bailey), sister to Halle but that’s nothing compared to Peter who treats Anthony most horridly on set. There is no doubt that this is an out-and-out fun role for Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan, Fargo) being cast as a director who goes after the troubled actor to bring his role out only too aware of all his weaknesses like failed parenting or drug addiction. Here Adam Goldberg does some incredible acting as one can see how dictatorial Hollywood can be (something that horror movie actor Miller has probably been through).

Meanwhile Frasier’s David Hyde Pierce plays a priest and adviser to the film-within-a-film’s characters here. All in all, as Father Conor Hyde Pierce has played this character very affably, charmingly and wittily enough so as to appear like a good friend in The Exorcism.

Anthony goes mad during production and everyone including his own daughter starts seeing him strange things happening around him thinking he might relapse or get possessed by supernatural forces only for Father Conor to assure them otherwise. It’s unfortunate since horrors don’t usually end up well.

It’s also sad that one big-name actor is not used adequately in The Exorcism. Sam Worthington nestles into Joe, Anthony’s potential replacement (yes; he will just keep going over different actors until perfection regardless of cost) from Avatar in this role while drawing upon his past achievements as an attractive leading man who could take place of Anthony if he fell victim to otherworldly invaders.

However short, Sam Worthington’s scenes are, it does allow for more time with two-time Academy Award-winner Crowe who appears to be fully invested in the character and could be seen as compensation for the somewhat thin script overall. “Tour de force” describes Crowe’s style of acting perfectly and this also applies to his role in The Exorcism where he is the main star. There’s a personal edge, an anxiety, a disheveled honesty to his work here that is magnetic.

The meta film loses its footing to cheap-ish horror thrills in the third act, which tries to wrap things up too neatly; however Fortin and Miller have piqued our interest with their self-reflexive treatment of the subject matter.

Watch free movies on Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top