Significant that living in these times of darkness camouflaged with cotton clouds ‘My little pony’, of witch hunts and kid-gloved Inquisition, the figure of the Evil One has lost his supernatural, demonic and religious shadow to be “rationalized” (whitewashed from secularism fearful of the inexplicable). Cinema, and even more so that of that plague called “high terror”, has tried to explain the presence of Evil as something psychological, psychoanalytic, social and political. How comfortable are the empty, but “nice” speeches of cute politicians. Far is that, deeply religious (which does not mean blessed: repressed homosexuality, violation of innocence, cruel horror…) ‘The Exorcist’, by William Friedkin, who will be half a century this 2023. ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ is far away Yes, from the destabilizing and disturbing exercise of terror and fear of the film that adapted the novel (inspired by real events) by William Peter Blatty. But it is also affected by accommodative reasoning and realism that is imposed on what is foreign to normality, on the dark that lurks in this world: the Evil One.
Without complexes to delve with faith into the inexplicable and the occult, into the darkness of the soul and the universe, ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ is not afraid to explore catacombs, abandoned churches, arcane archives and secrets that open all the seals of an Apocalypse here and now. He is not afraid to teach the demons, to face them calling them by their thousands of names and to kill them all with the tenacity of an exterminating angel. It is not afraid of being a clearly fantastic and irrational horror film (based on true events and the real Gabriele Amorth), a pulp chronicle worthy of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane.
Julius Avery, who had just discovered that World War II was ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ with Nazi zombies (‘Overlord’) and that superheroes are tired because today’s world is tired and has banished them from the normative (‘ Samaritan’), believes with all his faith in the cinema of possessions, the possessed and demon hunters, and thus ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ is a serial of adventures and terrors by which a Russell Crowe almost turned into the Bud Spencer of the exorcists moves with conviction to confront the Evil One with the energy of an Indiana Jones (and it is not a gratuitous comparison) in a serial from the years 40 where megalomaniacal villains, aliens or Nazis are evil entities.It is impossible not to feel sympathy for the film, for that Vatican full of enigmas that are not very far from those of ‘What happened then?’ and ‘The Prince of Darkness’; by a Vatican of professionals and agents who would say they came out of ‘The Great Falcon’ (without the sense of humor) and who do not make a fool of themselves as in ‘La piel del tambor’ (note: Franco Nero is the pope in both films) .
‘The Exorcist of the Pope’ looks at the genre with the churrigueresque style (make-up, special effects…) of Stuart Gordon and many of the Full Moon productions shot in Romania. He looks at Lucifer and his acolytes with respect, not letting himself be tempted by the sermon and being so fantastically costumbrist (that Russell Crowe riding a Vespa as if he were Nanni Moretti from ‘Caro Diario’) that he takes us out of our nonsense to remind us that we live with the Devil and that no matter how much we want to ignore him, he is there. Also Father Amorth: manus eius daemonia interficiens protected us.
For believers in the Evil One and in an exorcised horror cinema of the 2030 agenda
Address: Julius Avery Distribution: Russell Crowe, Alex Essoe, Franco Nero, Laurel Marsden, Daniel Zovatto Country: USA Year: 2023 Release date: 5–4-2023 Gender: Terror Script: Chester Hastings, R. Dean McCreary, Evan Spiliotopoulos Duration: 103 min.
Synopsis: Film about Gabriele Amorth, a priest who served as the Vatican’s main exorcist, performing more than one hundred thousand exorcisms throughout his life. Amorth wrote two memoirs where he detailed his experiences fighting Satan.