Joining a long line of possession horror movies, The Pope’s Exorcist is a classic story of good versus evil and follows an exorcist and his initiate as they embark on an epic battle to rid a boy of his inner demons, literally.
Is The Pope’s Exorcist Merely Yet Another Possession Movie?
While we have been avid fans of possession movies for as far back as we can remember, they do tend to fall into an inevitable trap of repetition. With a subject such as possession, the limits for creativity are nigh on boundless, yet we so often see the same items being crossed off the same tired checklist: deep and demonic voices emitting from children or women, projectile vomiting, heaps of sacrilege, rotating heads and a lot of Latin.
The Pope’s Exorcist manages to check off every one of these prerequisites but also brings a little originality into the genre. Yes, we still see all of the usual possession movie cliches but there’s so much more to be enjoyed here.
It was a refreshing experience to see new and creative ways to add malice, uncertainty, and fear into a wholly enjoyable horror production. We went into The Pope’s Exorcist expecting nothing beyond the usual possession horror staples and were only too glad to be proven wrong.
The Pope’s Exorcist is Based on a Real Exorcist
Interestingly, the main character in The Pope’s Exorcist‘ is based on a real person. The real Gabriele Amorth was born in 1925 and was ordained as a priest in 1947 after fighting in World War II. It wasn’t until 1986, however, that he was appointed as the apprentice to the long-serving exorcist, Rev. Candido Amantini. It was when Amantini passed away in 1992 that Amorth succeeded the late reverend and began his work as the pope’s very own exorcist.
The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he travels to Spain to rid a child called Henry of the demons he harbors. On arrival, he meets up with the local priest, Father Esquibel (Daniel Zovatto, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), and together they prepare to battle the evil forces plaguing the child. It’s not long before the holy duo uncovers a deep-seated secret the Vatican has so desperately been keeping.
Crowe Steals the Show in The Pope’s Exorcist
While the cast of The Pope’s Exorcist each plays their part in making the movie the triumph that it is, esteemed actor, Russel Crowe, deserves a special mention for his blinding performance as Father Gabriele Amorth. He gives the character the whimsical charm that the real Amorth was reported to have. With his quirky cuckoo noises and dry wit, Amorth brings a little humor to an otherwise dark and macabre movie.
The fine balance of the rugged, unruly, downtrodden priest and the funny, carefree man must have been a tough rope to traverse and Crowe once again shows us how it’s done.
The Pope’s Exorcist – Summary
If, like us, you are a fan of possession movies but have grown tired of the rinse-and-repeat ways they tend to fall into, then The Pope’s Exorcist will be a real breath of fresh air for you. Despite adhering to the many mandatory clichés, the movie does tap into a little creativity to slightly stray from the beaten path.
The Pope’s Exorcist also has a good story to sink your teeth into; a story that delves into some of the more interesting parts of the Catholic institute. It’s a far cry from the likes of The Divinci Code but still enough to satiate curiosities that you didn’t even realize you held.
The Pope’s Exorcist is in the theatres now and should be available to stream on Netflix this September.