When an ancient religious artifact is discovered
former priest turned archeologist, Mr Merrin, is invited to
Kenya to see a church which is being uncovered from the earth.
It predates Christianity by a thousand years. Going in through
the roof Merrin finds an unholy shrine of desecration. A huge
inverted Christ on the cross, stone carvings of demons, and
paintings depicting the war in heaven adorn the place. Merrin
and the excavators have awakened an ancient evil which preceeds
to sweep through the local peoples, attacking and possessing.
As the plague begins to hit violence erupts between the local
Kenyans and a contingent of the British army which is brought
in to enforce order. Something is manipulating events. Merrin
needs to regain his faith (lost witnessing atrocities in Nazi
death camps) and take on the demon in its own territory, the
very place where Lucifer fell to Earth...
film received some bad press upon its cinematic release. In
some ways it was justified, but it's not all bad news. The
biggest mistake made here is to associate this offering with
Exorcist, an all-time movie classic and one
of the most perfectly constructed pieces in film history.
It will never be improved upon, and so the only true reason
for giving this work the Exorcist name is to garner
publicity through the original. But whether that proves successful
or not, immediately afterward the film is inevitably going
to be compared with the Blatty/Friedkin masterpiece and fall
flat on its face.
a film in its own right it's pretty good (certainly upward
of average). There are some nice uses of light and shadow,
and the art and design should be commended. However, having
the possessed female doctor looking just like Linda Blair
on a bad make-up day simply stinks of plagiarism. Wouldn't
the demon look different each time, depending on whose facial
features it was using.
although over-the-top hysterical moments in horror films often
come across as being false, the young Merrin here not only
registers no emotion of any kind but never even raises his
voice above a murmer. I tend to like the Master of Lies
and Lord of the Flies (corruption) aspects of the devil
in fiction. Isn't the idea of someone being manipulated and
lied to more frightening than the expected buckets of blood
we get here? This is true because we know in everyday life
how our actions are decided by the information we are given
features include a commentary by director Renny Harlin, written
information on the cast and crew, a theatrical trailer, and
a short (8 minute) behind the scenes featurette.
the so-called connection to The Exorcist and you'll
find that you enjoy it more sans mental barriers.
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