American Exorcist (2018) is not what I expected. During the opening sequence, I kept wondering if was watching the correct movie as it starts with an awkward office Christmas party in 1984. Even when the psychotic woman starts shooting everyone, I still wasn’t sure. At least, the cheese level in this sequence was over the limit.
Fast-forward a few decades to an exorcism gone horribly wrong as two sisters attempt to purge a demon from a young woman. I’ve never seen an exorcism in real life, so I can’t say for sure, but the exorcist usually doesn’t touch the possessed. This sequence was difficult viewing because it didn’t fit with the style of the opening scene and felt like an afterthought (even after watching the entire movie).
Again, we jump forward, but only five years this time, where we meet Mr. Snowfeather, portrayed by one of my new favorites from modern horror, Bill Mosley — if you don’t know, he’s from House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects. He tells Georgette DuBois the history of the building, then for most of the film he’s nowhere to be seen. I wish he’d received more screen time.
Many parts of the film are left answered for me, like the title for one, or why the building wasn’t demolished and left to sit empty for over thirty years. The score could’ve been more sinister; it reminded me of 90s porn soundtracks. Other elements are thrown in that were great, but don’t necessarily make sense — for example, the picture made from the printouts, the kaleidoscope, and the random image sequence. The use of automatic writing was a nice touch, though based on the character, I was surprised she used it. The suspense was good as was the creepiness. I shouldn’t forget to give them kudos for the camera angles.
American Exorcist gets 3 out of 5 Stars from me.