© Universum/24 Bilder

The Vatican Tapes
U.S.A. 2015

Opening 30 Jul 2015

Directed by: Mark Neveldine
Writing credits: Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli, Michael C. Martin
Principal actors: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Pena, Dougray Scott, Kathleen Robertson, Djimon Hounsou

This film starts innocently and sweetly, as did Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. Today is Angela’s (Olivia Dudley) birthday and she is preparing for her guests to come to her party. But as she is preparing her cake, there are flashes of unwanted signs that all is not well. She lives happily with her boyfriend despite that fact that he is not liked by her father (Dougray Scott). As the party starts, the air changes from sweet to sour with frightening consequences. Not only does she cut her hand when cutting the cake; it is then bitten by a crow and she falls into a coma-like trance. It is clear that she is not acting on her own but is possessed by a demon that has taken over her soul and is out to kill anyone who gets near her. As her father and boyfriend team up to search for help, the Vatican has already been informed of this evil phenomenon and sends over their best man. But are they ready to fight the satanic forces by performing an exorcism on Angela? And more importantly, will they succeed?

With the resurgence of the 1970’s and 1980’s music comes a movie that reminds of those old horror classics like Omen, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. From the moment the camera rolls, the premonition of evil lurking in air can be felt. All the symbols that we associate with Satan such as crows, fire, and crosses turning upside down, are clear enough to see, including a fast-paced flow with unnatural movements. The music is eerie and this film seems to have all the right elements to be a classic, yet something is missing. Could it be that the screenplay has holes in it and the logic doesn’t always make sense? Or is it because we know this is not the end; film number two is waiting to be made? The horror scenes were well done but the characters needed to be more believable and interconnected otherwise the audience has the right to leave the theater empty handed and frustrated. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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