This fun exorcism romp is more fun than riding a Vespa across Europe. Listen to Bryce and Sydney break it down.
The Pope’s Exorcist is a 2023 film that follows Father Gabriele Amorth, the real life Chief Exorcist of the Vatican from 1986-2016, as he goes around to possibly possessed adults and children and cures them of their affliction, through unconventional and sometimes frowned upon means. The movie follows Amorth, played by the award winning actor Russell Crowe, as he tries to get rid of a very powerful demon that has attached itself to a little American boy named Henry, who has just moved into an inherited Spanish castle with his mother and sister. This movie is based on true events and documents from the Vatican, as well as being based on two books Father Amorth wrote before his death in 2016. There are some true elements to the story but a lot of it has been fictionalized to make this slightly scary, sometimes funny exorcism movie.
Review of The Pope’s Exorcist
In reviewing this movie, we have to take into account how many movies try to be The Exorcist, and ultimately fall flat because no one could ever top the 1973 horror classic. This movie definitely takes cues from its predecessor, with the possessed boy shouting obscenities at his mother and the priests, body contortion, some suspenseful and mysterious scenes, and an origin story for the demon that honestly was refreshing to all the other long played out demon stories.
This movie got better the longer it ran, but it is in no way a slow paced movie. Every minute has you wanting to keep watching. It starts off a bit basic for long time horror movie lovers like me, but it got more interesting as it progressed. And with a 100 minute run time, it is the perfect length for a movie night.
The script is very basic and mimics many other exorcism movies, and at times the characters would probably be better off not speaking than saying their bare bones lines to get the plot moving. But whoever wrote this movie was obviously highlighting Russell Crowe. They gave him the best lines, the most backstory, in a way he was the most, if not only, interesting character in the entire film. He solves everyone’s problems, he makes the characters and the audience laugh, we can sympathize with him while also being very interested in what his next move should be. As a viewer, it seems as though he had the time of his life filming this movie, and that is what makes it watchable in my opinion. There were good gorey scenes, some of the lines from the possessed boy were so outrageous that it made me step back and say okay maybe this movie has more going for it than I had originally thought. Ultimately, it is very entertaining, but it would have been nothing without Russell Crowe.