On the surface, THE VATICAN TAPES looks like every other exorcism movie on the market. It has a girl who may or may not be possessed, Catholic priests, and a bunch of jump-scare moments that sometimes play out into real horror. But in addition to these, the film also offers something that many of these other films do not: entertainment. Granted, THE VATICAN TAPES does not bring anything new to the table, but it’s still a fun film regardless and worthy of checking out.
If you are not familiar with THE VATICAN TAPES, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:
Angela Holmes is ordinary 27-year- old until she begins to have a devastating effect on anyone close, causing serious injury and death. Holmes is examined and possession is suspected, but when the Vatican is called upon to exorcise the demon, the possession proves to be an ancient satanic force more powerful than ever imagined. It’s all up to Father Lozano to wage war for more than just Angela’s soul, but for the world as we know it.
I was ready to like this film from the start, primarily because Dougray Scott and Djimon Hounsou are in the cast. I like both actors, therefore I was hoping the film would be good. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.
THE VATICAN TAPES is shot well and looks good onscreen. I was expecting this to be a found-footage or documentary style film, but turns out it’s shot like an actual movie. This was a nice surprise, as I think too many exorcism films are leaning that way.
The acting is very good, with the afore mentioned stars headlining a great cast. Olivia Taylor Dudley does a great job as Angela, and Michael Pena rounds out the cast as Father Lozano.
The story and how it plays out is what really got me with THE VATICAN TAPES. Director Mark Neveldine keeps the audience guessing until the end, and when things really start happening, they take off with a bang. I like how the possession turns out, although I won’t give away any spoilers.
My primary complaint about the film is that it is full of overused possession concepts and again offers nothing new in regard to exorcism films. The ending is a bit unique, however everything prior is the same stuff we’ve seen in scads of horror flicks.
Still, THE VATICAN TAPES is fun and worth giving a look. The film is available now in a variety of formats.