An american priest named Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) is asked to travel to Italy to by one of the teachers at his school named Father Xavier (Ciarán Hinds) to study exorcism by the head priest there named Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins) although he doesn't believe in the devil or possessions as well as having a few past memories that has effected him badly.
He agrees to go to Italy and meets up with Lucas and sees him performing an exorcism with a teenage pregnant girl named Rosaria (Marta Gastini) but yet is convinced that she's a schizoprenic who doesn't like herself too much and was molested by her father.
Later on while staying in Italy he seems to spot crazy hallucinations which makes him believe more and more that they do exist and now Lucas seems to be acting violent and obnoxious in which Michael may have to practise an exorcism on him.
I saw the trailer for this film and expected it to be something exciting. Well I went to the theatre's and it shows someone polishing up a corpse at a funeral home in which this gives the film a nice touch. Then there's moments with two bumbling young adults outside of a bar having a discussion in which I was thinking "Where is this story going?"
There's also a nice still flashback moment with a child watching his father perform an exorcism on his mother since this seemed to be another nice drawing card since this looked dark and mysterious.
The story seems to be very slow in which we spot an instructor showing a film on exorcisms teaching a class with preachers who plan to try and help others who are possessed in which it looks interesting showing footage on exorcisms making you wonder if they are actually real or not. However, alot of this looked like a plain dull drama with it's slow movements going from one scene to another.
Then the suspense seems to happen as a preacher named Father Matthew calling out to a young woman riding a bike as if something was wrong and then a vehicle slams into her as this certainly made me jump out of my seat and can do this to anyone when something seems like it's calm and then BANG! You wonder if this woman will live or not since this moment looked increidbly brutal and one of the main preacher's named Michael Kovak tries to do a prayer for her keeping you in suspense wondering if it's too late or not. This was very sad to watch indeed.
The drawing card seems to grow stronger when Kovak tries to talk to Matthew about what had happened and feeling that he was responsible for what had happened since this seems to be a traditional moment before any exorcisms starts. However, we've seen this before so it's nothing special.
There's some cute moments while Kovak goes to Rome to look for an exorcising preacher named Lucas Trevant and study with what he does in which he spots a ton of cats scrounging the area. Also it seems to give the film a nice feel to it making you wonder if these cats are actually inncocent or not especially during a moment when Kovak looks inside a window and its caught by surprise with a cat leaping in the window which is another great jumpijng moment and funny too. Then when Trevant introduces himself he seems a little too serious making you wonder if there's somethin unpleasant with him alonmg with a nice funny liner telling him not to let any of the cat's in his home but a few of them run in regardless and Kovak isn't successful at all. I really laughed with this moment.
There's then the moment when Trevant is about to perform an exorcism on a teenage pregnant girl named Rosaria in which she seems fine at time until she is looking for a cat making you wonder if she will do something terrifying and then is normal again. However Trevant seems to drive out the demon in her but she seems fine while he does this and you wonder to yourself "Why is he doing this when she seems fine? Don't make matter any worst!" But then there's great moments with her acting crazy and rolling around which makes you wonder if the baby or not will be harmed as well as trying to make Kovak feel guilty about certain experiences. You do wonder or not if he will lose it or not. Then this possessed chick spits out nails which seemed quite twisted. Then Trevant answers his cell phone and I'm thinking real bad timing and he actually takes the call in which I was thinking that this dude is a total flake. This seems to bring out the horror in the movie but yet we've seen this many times before.
When Kovac isn't convinced it's neat with Trevant coldly speaking to him about not believing in the devil as something will happen to him making this very mysterious and keeping you watching wondering what will happen to him. There's good evil hallucination sequences like Trevant spots a dark horse with red eyes approaching him which looked wickledly cool or little frogs invading his hotel suite. This seemed to work well for the story.
Then there's moments when Trevant is slowly losing it like cutting himself while shaving intentionally or walking outside in his bathrobe in front of public not being himself. Also an innocent child asking him to bless her child and he strikes her with his hand which makes you jump big time and this seemed very disturbing that someone would do this to a poor child.
Then he tries to be himself telling both Kovac and his girlfriend Angeline to lock himself up before he does something dangerous as this seemed cleverly written knowing that he is possessed. There's also great suspense and excitement with Kovac acting evil and crazy as well as Trevant and Angeline trying to struggle from him in which alot of the scene's here were strongly written making this film just saving from being plain average as it looked entertaining.
Bottom line is films have done this before if you've seen The Exorcist and The Omen in which those films have had a much better pace with it's timing and storyline. This film however tries too hard to work on it's own and it doesn't at all. Maybe this explains why there's so many damn remakes cause writers can't think of anything entertaining anymore.
The acting is well performed in which you can't criticise a gifted actor like Anthony Hopkins (Father Lucas Trevant) in which he shows a perfect seriousness to his exorcism moments and getting good and stern when he needed to in which he shows great energy while portraying these types of personalities and getting into the business of things. He was also terrific when he acted possessed showing a terrific insanity to what he did and really acting believeably outrageous. A nice stern type of behavior with him towards his fellow actor and ordering him on what to do which looked energised. Also does a good job speaking towards a child about his dreams. A nice strike with his hand towards another child which looked incredibly intense and powerful. Does a great job yelling intensely towards two of his fellow actors to lock him up as this moment was well energised with lots of good emotional attitude too. Shows a great sneering evil expression towards his fellow actress by talking nasitly towards her. Does well with his blocking when he is forceful and acting believeably brutal. He is a true versatile character actor for everything that he did in his performances and it shows strongly in this film.
Colin O'Donoghue (Michael Kovak) brought on alot of good energy as a young type of preacher in which he really studied his role well and came across seriously with his work. He also showed alot of nice aggressive moments in certain spots as well as a nice disturbed and emotional attitude too. A nice freaked out reaction on him in a certain scene. All in all he does a fine job with what he had to do in it.
Alice Braga (Angeline) shows off a nice friendly and outgoing type of behavior. She seemed to come across as one of those lighthearted types in which she really adds alot of good spunk throughout her role. Plus she really knew on how to cry well on set when there's disturbing moments to her along with showing a nice energetic attiaude throughout the intensity that surrounds her.
Ciarán Hinds (Father Xavier) knew his stuff as a preacher teaching others on exorcism in which he brings across a nice intelligence to his performance making his character truly believeable to what he did. He also had the perfect middle aged sharp looks which was a nice bonus looking like a perfect instructor. I found that he stood out quite well with what he did in the story.
Marta Gastini (Rosaria) was quite an attention grabber in her supporting role as a pregnant possessed teenager in which she certainly shows some nice shy and fearful moments like she's totally innocent and then knew on how to act devilish in her role and get crazy when she is possessed drawing out alot of insane energy into her character. Also showed good evil expressions. She shows great energy lunging out towards her fellow actor with a heavy might. She spoke italian but you could tell that she is a good character actress regardless.
The music was crisply composed by Alex Heffes in which he has some nice light touching piano music for the mellow moments along with alot of strong classical violin music for the strong moments used in the films as well as heavy drum roles and the odd woodwinds sounds. To top it off there's great hissing sounds and low tones here and there.