When a mysterious disc enters the office with the words ‘The Vatican Exorcisms’ printed on it we’re obliged to hit play. When up boots a found footage film set in Italy the age old repetitians of genre favourites come to mind including ‘The Tunnel’ and ‘Episode 50’. A genre that has churned out the same film a hundred times before bringing nothing new but the same mistakes.
Then things turn weird… No information on the internet, no IMDb page and no cover letter all, all while watching the unnerving reality of what could possibly be the first BloodGuts snuff movie. Joe Marino (The actual director) sets out to Italy to uncover the Devil in the Vatican. Sex orgies, missing women paedophilia and unholy behaviour all within the closed walls of the capital of Catholism. Taking his camera crew and an ambition to find the truth, they take up the opportunity to shadow an exorcist. Padre Luigi teaches them the darker side of religion and the effects it has on the church. Sometimes the truth is best hidden and Morino soon finds out that the Devil may be closer than he thinks.
Regurgitated story? Check. Found Footage cliché? Check. Unforgettable cast? Check. Is there any saving this?
What director Joe Marino has managed to capture on film is hands down the scariest film of 2013 and within 70 minutes is sheer terror. Paced with perfection and quite possibly the greatest exorcisms on film. The choice to rid the screen of silly stereotypes and a lack of CGI, hovering bodies and pea soup, what seperates ‘Vatican’ from other exorcism movies is its faithfulness to the real world.
Eerie silences and a score that raises every hair in your body. Each exorcism brings its own horror without being violent, bloody or anything that could be unreal. Never in the history of cinema as a dormant woman been so terrifying and at no point do any of the cast over act their parts.
Unfortunate then that the finale seems somewhat none existent. A rushed ending or a realisation that without the extraordinary set pieces there really is no build up to an extraordinary finale. A stumbling block that seems nobody thought about when writing ‘Vatican’. It’s biggest win is also its biggest curse. In being so real, the climax is an empty gesture. But this cannot lead you to ignore the scenes of a truly disturbing nature. A rare treat to call a film a true horror film in that it brings plenty of scary moments that will have you thinking is you nan asleep, or possessed.
Blood Guts UK