Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon MOVIES: The Pope's Exorcist - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

MOVIES: The Pope's Exorcist - Review

Share on Reddit

The Pope’s Exorcist is the kind of movie where Russell Crowe rides the same scooter from Italy to Spain, sets up 199 sequels in one film whilst managing to exist in a coherent fashion, and on top of that: has him look at one of the key members of the Spanish Inquisition, buried beneath an ancient Church, and declare him to be with perfect conviction of an actor completely dedicated to his craft that he’s one of the greatest Exorcists to ever have lived. We’re in full camp Da Vinci Code territory here as the film arrives on the back of Crowe’s vehicular manslaughter spectacle Unhinged, and his turn as Zeus in Thor: Love & Thunder; an experimental phase of the actor’s career where he takes risks and owns all of them, fully confident in the role he’s playing as the right hand man to The Pope; played, of course, by Franco Nero – the same man who asked John Wick on his journey to Italy whether or not he was here to kill the leader of the Catholic Church.

This film borrows from the playbook of The Exorcist; obviously, and know its horror cliches – there’s a lot of Evil Dead-esque humour in here with the film being tongue in cheek with all its dad comedy from Crowe, who plays the role aspiring to wind up agents of the devil who don’t like humour. Whilst at first glance; exorcisms appear to be unrelated to the devil – he asks the first possessed demon to name his own name – but they can’t give him what he wants. Until he’s drawn to the home of an American family who have recently moved into the same Church that has secrets buried deep beneath it – an old evil brought to life by renovations that awaken it from its slumber. Father Gabriele Amorth is about to be reckoned with one of the darkest secrets of the Vatican’s past – and the revelation to come will shake the foundations of his faith.

For a movie discredited by the Catholic Church; you’d be expected to believe it was more memorable than it was – but it’s perfectly fine; by no means good, but by no means bad either. It moves along at a brisk pace, barely clocking in at a hundred and four minutes; and the needle drops give it a source of entertainment value all in its own – they’re the most obvious classic rock songs ever, and whilst The Pope’s Exorcist loosely claims that it draws from true events; it doesn’t really feel as convincing in its portrayal of them as real that other horror movies have in the past. But it doesn’t intend to – this is camp, full camp – the kind of camp that only Crowe can pull off. He chews scenery like the best of them.

Part Tomb Raider part The Exorcist homage all parts campy and entertaining; the visual cinematography really evokes a strong atmosphere that gives this thing its pulp edge that it’s going for. The set pieces; blood splatter and practical design really give a Sam Raimi type feel to this and this is no surprise, Julius Avery directed the incredibly fun Overlord in 2018 and follows it up with another riot. Short and to the point; with Drag Me to Hell callbacks that showcase a director who knows his influences but capable of making the whole thing his own. The whole thing revels in knowing exactly what it sets out to do from the start: utterly bonkers and comfort food in the same way that you’d expect a modern blockbuster with much more pedigree.

It creates a world that you’d want to spend time in and a premise that allows for more of that – so if the chance came to see even 5% of the 199 more sequels that this film promised; I’d jump at that chance: think of the spinoff potential too in the travelogue series that that this character could do en-route to the exorcisms in his Vespa!

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News