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The Exorcism
This film contains the following triggers that may be alluded to in this review: Child abuse/pedophilia, Needles or drug addiction, Substance abuse or alcoholism

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An actor recovering from his addictions experiences disruptive behaviour as he shoots a demonic possession film in . Anthony Miller (Russell Crowe) is a down-on-his-luck actor recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction that has left him in an estranged relationship with his daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins). Anthony is hired by director Peter (Adam Goldberg) to star in a film called The Georgetown Project, a demonic possession film, with Anthony cast to play the exorcist. However, throughout the shoot, Anthony's behaviour becomes erratic, much to the concern of co-stars Joe (Sam Worthington) and Blake (Chloe Bailey). Fearing that her father has relapsed, Lee seeks guidance from the film's priest advisor Father Connor (David Hyde Pierce).

The Exorcism Synopsis

The Exorcism is a demonic possession horror film written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller (The Final Girls), directed by the latter, and produced by Kevin Williamson (Scream). This is the second exorcism-related film in the last two years to star Russell Crowe, who is joined by Ryan Simpkins (Fear Street: Part Two – 1978) and David Hyde Pearce. The plot takes place around the filming of a horror film called The Georgetown Project, which was also the working title for The Exorcism, the plot of which is a thinly veiled rehash of The Exorcist.

Despite being cast as a priest, Russell Crowe's protagonist Anthony Miller is a longtime atheist, stemming from sexual abuse he received from priests when he was an altar boy. The Georgetown Project‘s insensitive director Peter, played quite dislikable by Adam Goldberg, pressures Anthony to relive this trauma as inspiration for his character. This results in disruptive behaviour that may be a sign that Anthony's personal demons have given way to actual ones.

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My Thoughts on The Exorcism

It's sad that an Oscar-winning actor like Russell Crowe has now reached the phase of his career, where he has to accept paycheque roles in not one, but two exorcism films. I'm not sure if it is a coincidence or not that The Exorcism is arriving only a year or so after last year's The Pope's Exorcist. However, at least I can confidently say they are two completely different movies.

It's not too much of a spoiler to say that Russell Crowe isn't playing an exorcist in this film, but rather an actor cast as one in a film-with-the-film. This adds a self-reflexive tone to the film, beginning with the opening scene, where Anthony's predecessor Tom (Adrian Pasdar) is running down the beats of a typical exorcism sequence. The film also follows the trope of having established actors in small roles, most notably Avatar star Sam Worthington, who only appears in like three scenes of the film.

At one point, the director Peter describes his film The Georgetown Project as a “psychological drama wrapped in the skin of a horror movie.” This also applies to The Exorcism as a whole, as director Joshua John Miller and his co-writer M.A. Fortin seem intent on making this an “elevated horror” film that uses actual demons to provide commentary on personal ones. The plot makes many allusions to both substance abuse and childhood sexual abuse to the point that the film could be triggering for some viewers.

By the end of the day, The Exorcism is still a demonic possession film and the climax ends up following every cliche in the genre. Those familiar with The Exorcist might recognize some similarities in the plot beats. This ultimately results in The Exorcism being a forgettable film, but at least Russell Crowe got a paycheque.

Trailer for The Exorcism

This post was proofread by Grammarly 
The Exorcism (2024)
Runtime:95 minutes
Country:United States
Genres:Horror, Thriller
Writers:
(written by) &
(written by)
Production companies:
 
Plot:
A troubled actor begins to exhibit a disruptive behavior while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he's slipping back into his past addictions or if there's something more sinister at play.
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