This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
We’re back into the world of the Exorcist…oh nooooooo! Yeah that means we’re in for quite the ride here as the film mainly drags on endlessly with the villain giving a lot of ramblings about not much at all. You’ll quickly realize that the film’s not going to be a satisfying watch except the knowledge that it’s over. There are no more sequels….yet.
So the film kicks off with introducing us to Kinderman who will be the main character this time. He’s a police lieutenant and he’s seen a lot of things over the years. The world has fallen to ruin and evil seems to run rampant at this time. His friend Dyer tries to help him see that things aren’t so bad but fails completely due to a new serial murderer showing up. He claims to be the original Gemini killer from long ago and he is possessing the body of Damien. Not the same Damian from a certain other horror series but I had fun treating this as a bit of a crossover tbh. Kinderman knows this can’t be Gemini but at the same time how is this guy pulling off all of these murders from his cell? Is he getting someone to let him out at night? It’s time to crack this mystery!
Now if the film wasn’t called “The Exorcist” then you may figure the main character has a chance. Grab all of the clues and just find out whoever the main villain is. Find the method of attack and stop it. This had all the bearings of a cop case like that but because you see the title you know that it’s all a ruse and clearly something supernatural is going on here. Yeah that’s unfortunate because now he has absolutely no chance of claiming victory and you just have to watch a lot of grisly murders with no reason behind them.
Part of the issue with films like the Exorcist is that the heroes have no way of stopping this guy. They’re fighting an immortal demon who can possess anybody at will and will never truly die since he can just fly somewhere else. The whole thing seems incredibly futile and what’s worse is that there is no way to prove that the villain is a demon so at any point he can just hop into another body and frame the heroes. It’s all just so hopeless and that takes a lot of the fun away from the chase. Why bother getting invested here when victory is impossible?
It’s why even in action shows I much prefer when the hero or villain has at least a slim shot of putting up a fight. A one sided massacre on either side can become boring if it carries on for too long. Give me at least a glimmer of hope even if you’re going to yank it away. The reason there is none here is because in every film the heroes start yelling scriptures at the demons and taking out the cross but always die in the end. At best sometimes they can temporarily take the demon down with them but the human stays dead for good while the demon eventually regenerates.
While it’s not the best series, at least Blue Exorcist has clear rules on how you permanently destroy a spirit. Then you have the all stars like Twin Star Exorcists where you just need to destroy a villain with holy weapons and they stay dead. Give me clear rules for engagement and you’re set but otherwise you just turn into another Jeeper’s Creepers where the villain is completely invincible the whole time.
Another reason this film is so bad is because way too much time is spent on Damien’s ramblings. He just goes on and on and on and as the viewer you have absolutely no interest in anything that he has to say. It’s just a serial killer’s crazed ramblings and you’re constantly checking the clock to see if the speech is really as long as you think it is. It doesn’t service the plot because we know it is crazy and all this does is remind us of that. If I wanted to watch some crazed ramblings there are plenty of Youtube videos for it but to sit there and have to listen to that is mind boggling. Any scene with him in the cell is just awful.
It goes without saying that the film is super violent and disturbing the whole time as well. Everyone is getting murdered by this guy and to add some extra edge to the mix he makes sure to at least bump someone off while they are in a church. There is just no protection from the demon inhabiting Damien and as always the dark side seems way more powerful than the light. This is not a film you watch for the heroes to take the lead.
Kinderman is also portrayed as extremely old in this one. I’m not sure if the actor was sick during filming or something but he has a really hard time breathing during the film and it’s noticeable as he has to take a deep breath after every few lines which doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the villains. Nobody is going to be scared of a guy like this, why should they be? The heroes are on the defensive the whole time and then you also have the doctors who appear corrupt at times. At least one of them was being blackmailed and another was being so unhelpful that she may as well have been in on it.
We do get the classic scene of someone crawling on the ceiling but there’s not much point to it at all. I mean in context I guess the demon is taunting Kinderman but that doesn’t work because the main guy doesn’t notice and all that would have done was alert him to the body hopping earlier. Yeah I’m telling you this is a big skip for sure. It’s not like this even adds all that much to the lore of the verse so skipping it won’t have you missing anything. I mean if you liked the first film than you may like this one as well but there just isn’t much to salvage here at all.
Overall, the only slight positive I can give here is that there was one catchy tune that played earlier. Yeah that’s about it. The film quickly drops off a cliff after that. It may succeed in trying to have a sinister atmosphere that basically feels evil the whole time but as a result there are no fun moments here or times where you can cheer along with the movie. This isn’t that kind of movie and any movie where you don’t smile at least once during it is one that didn’t understand the assignment. A good film should leave you feeling good afterwards and this one is just so cruel and mean spirited that it won’t succeed. It has the rare distinction of hitting rock bottom so you definitely need to avoid it.