The Exorcism (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Russell Crowe delivers a powerful performance in The Exorcism, expertly leading a stellar cast through a chilling exploration of hidden demons and past traumas.

The Exorcism (2024) Review
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We all have demons we hide deep down inside, or at least we try to.  Sometimes those demons rear their ugly heads and nothing we do will keep them at bay.  For actor Anthony "Tony" Miller (Russell Crowe; Gladiator) those demons have seemingly laid dormant for many years. However, when his daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins; Revolutionary Road) gets suspended from boarding school and returns home, tensions grow and old wounds begin to resurface. Compounding the issue, Tony, considered a "risk", is offered the lead role in a movie portraying a priest who has to perform an exorcism.  He, and those around him, quickly discover that Tony's character isn't the only one entangled in an exorcism.   

Lee was young when her mother got sick and eventually died of cancer.  During that time, her famous father was sleeping around with other women and drinking heavily, doing irreparable harm to their relationship.  Lee is not happy about being home and even less happy when her father lands a movie role and gets her a job on set as a production assistant so he can keep an eye on her but as Tony's behavior keeps becoming more and more bizarre, Lee finds herself looking after him instead.  When it becomes apparent there is something more sinister at play, Lee consults with Father Conor (David Hyde Pierce; Fraiser), the priest consulting on the film set.

Writers M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller (Queen of the South) make a movie within a movie with characters that seem to have dual roles to play some even going through their own exorcism as the movie progresses.  Miller, who also directs The Exorcism, pays homage to his late father, actor Jason Miller (That Championship Season), in several ways.  From naming the lead character Anthony Miller to making him portray a priest in the fictitious film, there are reminders of the elder Miller throughout the movie.

The cast is terrific, led expertly by Crowe.  As this is his second foray at portraying a priest, Crowe seems to have the posture and attitude down pat.  As Lee's estranged father, he is equally as good but his best moments are probably when he plays the possessed actor reliving past horrors going back to his time as an altar boy in church.  Simpkins matches Crowe's energy and the two have some memorable scenes together.  Adam Goldberg (A Beautiful Mind) is also memorable but more for his character's unsympathetic words to Miller than anything else.  Hyde Pierce is good as well, as is Sam Worthington (Avatar) even though they limited on-screen time.

The story is interesting and explores the characters' demons, many of which need to be excised.  Tony has multiple demons that he can't seem to shake despite both Lee's and Father Conor's attempts to do so.  Lee also needs to find a way to forgive her father and excise the hate she feels towards him while at the same time moving past her mother's death.  

The Exorcism begins slowly and is a little choppy but picks up steam well before we hit the second act.  That second act builds tension, both between Lee and Tony and between Tony and the Devil.  Most of the "horror" comes in this second act well and looks as if it may climax to a chilling ending in act three.  Unfortunately, all the build-up falls apart in the latter half of Act Three, making for a sloppy and mildly confusing ending. 

Mix a strong cast with a unique premise and some gory elements and you should come up with a decent film.  The Exorcism is unfortunately just that and less than the sum of its parts.

Grade: C


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 93 minutes
Distributed By: Vertical

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For more information about The Exorcism visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

The Exorcism images are courtesy of Vertical. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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