EXORCIST HOUSE OF EVIL
RELEASE DATE: Available Now on DVD
WRITTEN BY: David Trotti
DIRECTED BY: David Trotti
STARRING: Cara Artman, Cara Barresi, Hayden Benbenek
Here comes a hot one, a flick that promises to continue the story of the case that inspired William Peter Blatty to write his seminal 1971 novel, THE EXORCIST, a work that in turn inspired a little-seen film of the same name (is there a sarcasm emoji?). Those are some pretty damned big shoes to fill, and truthfully I doubt this flick has the stones to pull it off, but what the hell. I’ll suffer for you creeps! To that end, let’s focus our putrid peepers on EXORCIST HOUSE OF EVIL!
So here are the basics for ya: In the late 1940s a young boy finds himself the human vessel of a demon (thanks to that hoary ol’ chestnut, a Ouija board … though here it’s a more lawsuit-avoiding version). Anyway, some priests are called in, there’s an exorcism … you know the drill. Flash-forward to the present and a young woman named Amy, her boyfriend, and her cousin who want to buy the old family homestead … the very dwelling where all of that hell-raisin’ action took place decades previous. Before you know it supernatural shenanigans ensue, and Amy embarks on a quest to lay the demons of the past to rest.
So does all of this add up to a flick of the same caliber as THE EXORCIST? Of course not. There is simply no way, given the resources these folks had, that this film was even going to be 1/10th as beloved, amazing, or influential as THE EXORCIST. I knew that going in, and I know you are savvy to that as well. All I asked of this flick was that it be entertaining and provide a few demonic thrills and spills … and it certainly met those criteria.
I enjoyed the story for what it was, a fun lil’ supernatural mystery with a sprinkle of “true events” to spice things up. To aid and abet things, the acting is solid as is the score (trust me, this is more important than you’d think, especially to make a small film seem a bit bigger in scale). Even the “stunt” elements, such as filming in the actual house where the purported exorcism took place, add to the atmosphere.
On the flip side of things, those expecting an over-the-top special-effects showcase will be left high and dry. This is a low-budget affair, so instead of groundbreaking visual gags, things are kept more in the altered-vocals and black-contact-lenses range … but it’s effective all the same.
To sum it all up, EXORCIST HOUSE OF EVIL is a fun lil’ demonic-possession romp that I think you’ll enjoy (if that genre is your bag). Its only misstep is using the word “exorcist” in its title (although I get the reasoning behind that from a marketing stand-point). If it had just been called “HOUSE OF EVIL” and kept its EXORCIST ties as a surprise to the viewer it would have been better served.