Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
DWF ’15: Bad Exorcists
you believe or not, demonic possession is simply no business to trifle with,
but kids will be kids. These kids in question are especially inept in social
situations. The three high school chums hope to raise their place in the
pecking order by taking the grand prize at their local horror film festival
with real life exorcism footage. Unfortunately, it all gets more real than they
bargained for in Kyle Steinbach’s Bad
which screens during the eighteenth Dances With Films, in Hollywood,
nebbish Charlie is being led-on by a chick who really isn’t his girlfriend, but
she lets him think she is when she wants to exploit his good nature. He also
happens to have a crush on the popular and reasonably together Lisa, who has
just returned from her junior exchange year abroad. Matt is the Jewish kid at
their Catholic school, who often serves as the devil on his friends’ shoulders.
As for Dana, he is just a mess.
have DIY horror movie aspirations, but not a lot of talent. However, Matt is
convinced if they steal Sister Helen’s ancient exorcism manual and chant some
of the incantations within, the authenticity will take them to the next level. Much
to Charlie’s surprise and nervous excitement, Matt even recruits Lisa to star
in their film as the victim of possession. Of course, as we can all see coming,
by incompletely reciting the powerful texts over Lisa, they actually help
facilitate her demonic possession.
have been no shortage of horror comedies in recent years, but many have been
rather darned amusing, by cranking up the energy level and avoiding Friedberg
& Seltzer’s painfully stupid level of humor. Happily, Exorcists is one that makes the grade. There is nothing truly
jaw-dropping or gut-busting about it, but the film is clearly in touch with
both the horror and teen movie traditions, knowingly observing and tweaking
their respective conventions. Steinbach keeps it all moving along at a healthy
gallop and stage scenes of demonic horror that should satisfy genre diehards (that
kid in the barn is pretty darn creepy).
cast members look a tad old for high school, but they all exhibit a natural
facility for the American Pie-style
humor. As Lisa, Claire Berger shows a particularly impressive range, earning
laughs with deadpan sarcasm and totally going Regan MacNeil in the third act.
Exorcists is definitely a bit of a meathead movie and the sexually voracious
depiction of Sister Helen is highly problematic and may ultimately lead to a
few days in Purgatory for the filmmakers (if demons are real, there is no
reason to think it no longer exists). However, for horror fans it is just a fun
film to watch, which is more than enough for a Saturday night in June.
Recommended for midnight movie regulars, Bad
Exorcists screens tomorrow, as part of DWF18.
Labels: DWF '15, Horror Movies