Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror Exorcist Chronicles (2007)

Exorcist Chronicles (2007)

 The pseudo-documentary, used in both genre of thriller and horror movies, is an highly effective way to enhance a viewer’s sense of both depth (or it’s illusion) and allows the participatory enhancement to drama the Greeks employed by having actors wear larger-than-life masks…we get to see a gathering sense of anticipation on others before we experience it ourselves. Something no neon sign pointing to the killer’s leer or rumble of music any longer serves well, the audience being jaded by violence as it is.

Exorcist Chronicles goes a step further, allowed solely by the exceptional performance of Richard Cross, in the role of Dr. Eric Forrester. Without the depth and credibility Cross establishes to this role, on the strength of his own delivery, this film would be bizarre at best, served by failed script writing at worst. But Cross single-handedly pulls it out of the fire. The man deserves serious scrutiny by Hollywood casting directors. The viewer is led by his performance to accept as credible that the non-believer, specific both to demonology and religious practice, would be sought by the Church to document a string of exorcisms and that his very own disbelief, in the end, would provide the horror in wait for him. This twist is the movie’s ultimate success.

But let’s not stop there, this movie is full of highly subtle devices demonstrating inspired directing (Will Raee) and an obviously very workable collaboration between its two script writers, Will Raee again, and Paul Cama. Being low budget, the film cannot trade on special effects comparable with those of The Exorcist and its sequels, although you may find it offering something they lack.

Natasha Leggero, whom we’ve seen in several episodes of Reno 911, gives a convincing performance as, Leah, hardly just another demon possessed victim. No, this one is something special. Again, not the effects, not the expensive camera work. All is achieved by storyline enhanced by the secondary frame of pseudo-documentary…and, ah, yes, the acting.

Among these afore mentioned “subtle devices” is that of employing changes in sound volume, taking a lesson from the adept’s advice, “if you want to be heard, speak softer”. If you listen very carefully, you will find the subtle interaction going on between each of the possessed and Dr. Forrester. You might even sense the inevitable this portends and why demons would be more interested in him than in the exorcising priests. But then this is the exception to the rule of Catholic doctrine regarding the rites of exorcism this film’s script must overcome. In this reviewer’s opinion it exceeds the requirement.

A bit too much reliance on breaks in chronology where some only served to confuse, but forgivable.

Language does not permit allowing children to watch, their innocence might have survived rap music.

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