Why We Like Exorcist Movies: They Don’t Just Showcase the Devil, They Conjure up God Too

“Now, of course, evangelical Christianity has become one of the cornerstones of contemporary American life. And here we are, four decades after The Exorcist, still paying to get the bejesus scared out of us by watching a movie set in 1971 about a good woman “possessed” by her secret demon self. The Devil is here because, of course, he never left, and never will. In so many ways, he is old news. But the ritual of a horror film that reassures us by calling forth God to defeat him: That’s a conjuring we never get tired of.”  –Owen Gleiberman

We don’t agree with every point, but this is a thoughtful piece,  with an intriguing perspective, by longtime Entertainment Weekly film critic (and ardent movie lover) Owen Gleiberman that deserves a read… especially if you’re interested in exploring the role of God in exorcism-themed horror films.

A Few American Horror Story Asylum News Flashes – Spoiler-Free Round-Up For You!

I got tired of trying to cram the American Horror Story Asylum news into a series of blurted-out tweets, and the Horror Boom Facebook page interface is giving me grief, so how about I try something new? I’ll just give you the news and link back to where ever I got it from. I don’t think it’s cool, copyright-wise, to just present it like it’s right off the AP wire. I don’t know, can I do that? Well, I’ll worry about those issues and focus on getting you the latest news!

Episode Two, airing Wednesday, 10/24 at 10PM on FX is called Tricks and Treats. I recall seeing it titled “Tricks and Treats Part One” with the Halloween episode airing (when else) 10/31 titled “Tricks and Treats Part Two.” That bummed me out a little for some reason, maybe because I remember the Halloween two-parter episode last year. Ryan Murphy said he kind of wanted to make it an annual tradition, and said he originally pushed for the episodes to be aired on two consecutive nights, with Part Two airing on Halloween. Didn’t work out as planned, but boy, did those episodes hook me on the show. I was already impressed and fascinated, but at some point (maybe during the “Dead Breakfast Club” scenes, definitely when the characters started crashing into one another, and absolutely on the sad walk back the “murder house” by all the trapped souls who knew they’d only get to travel and maybe get some human contact or closure another few minutes, then it would be another long year.  I fell madly in love with the show.

No guest stars listed on [S02 E03], but there’s no way that “daring escape” is going to end well for anyone. Except maybe some hungry “Raspers” in the woods who will be happy to get a hot meal this once. Plus, I predict whatever Sister Jude is hiding from is going to come back in a BIG way.

OK, so here’s the episode description released for Tricks and Treats (S02, E03) released by FX:

An exorcist is called to Briarcliff to help save a troubled farm boy; Sister Jude’s darkest secret is revealed.

OoooOOOOOO! That’s a fast reveal, but I’m sure not complaining. I know this season will have quite a few more. So far I don’t know who plays the “troubled farm boy” in need of an exorcism (or seemingly in need of one), but with all the name-dropping of actors from Season One stopping by, it could be great. I guess the “boy” part leaves out Dylan McDermott, Ian McShane and Mark “Tio” Margolis. But who will the exorcist? Whether it’s a familiar face or not, I’m fucking amped up to watch.

S02, E03 Episode 3 (airing on Halloween) is now titled Nor’easter. The episode description is…

A violent storm allows a group of patients to plan a daring escape; Sister Jude is haunted by her past.

No guest stars listed on that one, but there’s no way that “daring escape” is going to end well for anyone. Except maybe some hungry “Raspers” in the woods who will be happy to get a hot meal this once. Plus, whatever Sister Jude is hiding from is going to come back in a BIG way. My guess is she did something considered (maybe just by her, maybe just by the time period) “sinful” – hustle for drinks in bars? Have been a burlesque dancer (doubt it)? Being a high-end call girl… or a low-end one, financing her drug habit? I doubt it’ll be anything we expect, but I’m pretty sure it will involve sex and alcohol, given what we’ve seen of her so far.

In other AHSA news, the Zap2it Blog has these tidbits to offer. Click here to read goodies from a Twitter-hosted Fan Q&A with Ryan Murphy teasing Franka Potente’s role, aliens, and future appearances by the trashy (and unfortunate) couple played by Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Adam Levine in the modern-day framing story …and the possible return of Taissa Farmiga!

There’s no more episode descriptions, but some titles for future episodes:

S02, E04 is titled “I am Anne Frank, Part One” and S02, E05 “I am Anne Frank, Part Two.” I have NO goddamned guesses for what those involve. S02 E07 is titled, very ominously,  “Dark Cousin”.

Lastly, I heard a rumor that makes me nervous– that this 13-episode season will be split in half, with a break of over a month around the holidays. Now THAT’S some scary shit!

Be sure to check out the Dread Central “Related Articles” listed below – they’re still my personal favorite site for up-to-the-minute news, especially exclusives. I can’t wait till I finally scrape up the money for an Android phone and can hook up with the Dread Central App.


Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week – Exorcism Shocker “Deus Irae” (2010)

I was considering posting this Argentinian blood-curdling short film as “Scariest Argentinian Short Film of The Month” or “Scariest Exorcism Movie of the Month,” but decided to use it this week so there’s some variation on the ones I post.

Many people who’ve been wowed by the short movie say they didn’t want it to end.  Other common reactions are versions of viewers asking, “what the HELL did I just watch?”

OK, I had no idea how scary and batshit-crazy this short film would be. I was also floored by the writing, the effects… and how it made me want to turn all the lights on and worry about just what might be under my bed —even though it was still light out. This one is definitely worth watching full-screen; the lighting, atmosphere, and stunning cinematography by Lucio Bonelli are off the fucking hook on this 13-minute short!

All I knew about Deus Irae  (from Nerdhaus Films) going in was that it was very, very scary, had a graphic content warning for violence and gore, and was centered around the following plot: a mother and her little girl are preparing for her exorcism, waiting for a team of three expert priests to arrive. I was caught TOTALLY off-guard by the blood-curdling practical effects (courtesy of the sought-after award-winning Rabbid EFX, who utilized a five-member special effects team to create the horrifying sights for the short).  They’re almost a little too memorable –especially when you are having a restless night. The movie had a low budget, but you’d sure as hell never know from watching it.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the digital effects sequences (do NOT watch before the short!) from the film’s producer.

Many people who’ve been wowed by the movie say they didn’t want it to end.  The latest word is that a feature film is in the works (you can also read more about that on the film’s official website, right here). Other common reactions are versions of viewers asking “what the HELL did I just watch?”

I highly recommend checking out Rabbid Effect’s amazing, awesome website– there’s at least half an hour’s material from various sizzle reels, trailers, galleries, and digital art there, and the presentation is stellar. You also, as I did, may end up jotting the names of several movies they’ve done effects for, just from the demo clips, to look into and hunt down. Hell, I spent over an hour exploring.

Very creepy dolls are SO the least of the character’s problems in this short…

Pedro Cristiani wrote and directed this show-stopper of a short, and Lucio Bonelli was the DP and cameraman. If you’d like to know more about Lucio Bonelli’s work, here’s a link to more movies he’s created cinematography for.  Sadly, this is the only film he’s done in the horror genre, but hopefully that will change with the feature-length film!

Unsurprisingly, Deus Irae  made the rounds at the festival circuit– almost every single one, including Fantastic Fest. The film was shown at the Toronto After Dark film festival, where it took home the well-deserved Audience Award.

Quoting from the 2010 Mar del Plata Film Festival site:

“It doesn’t matter how it happened or what’s the logic behind it: the demons are among us. And the only people with enough knowledge and strength to face them are the Deus Irae, a strange militia of gun-loving priests. But every battle is different. As well as every possession. And every priest. The short film Deus Irae  shines as a particularity work that has a much larger build-up behind, suggesting this horror adventure is the beginning of a project that will surely change the way horror films are made in Argentina.”  You’ll get no argument from me on any of THAT.

Deus Irae  also roughly translates to “The Wrath of God” in Latin, as Wikipedia tells me, anyway.   Perfect.