Exorcism (Paranormal Blair Witch in a Croatian Basement)

 

Aww geez, a demonic possession film? Well, it had better feature someone’s head rotating 180 degrees, at least. While Dalibor Matanić’s Exorcism (Egzorcizam in Croatian, 2017) unfortunately does not feature anyone’s head spinning in half circles, it does nonetheless serve as a worthwhile addition to the expanding library of demonic possession films. Shot on location in the director’s native Croatia, the film revolves around the young Mašha (Nika Ivancic), a girl suffering from an abnormal psychological state believed to be the work of a supernatural entity according to a priest (Janko Popovic Volaric), and diagnosed as “pure schizophrenia” by a psychiatrist (Senka Bulic).

 
 

When news of the priest's notoriety performing an exorcism on Mašha becomes public, a local news station gains permission to film the ritual in detail, which, of course, is being performed in a secluded, dimly lit basement. A reporter from the news station is particularly interested in filming the events to shed light on how modern churches still utilize dangerous and outdated practices on devotees (because this is clearly something we weren’t aware of).  For a large portion of Exorcism, then, viewers witness events playing out exactly as they are filmed by the station’s cameraman, creating a “metafilm” aesthetic similar to The Blair Witch Project.

 
 

When Mašha goes into full possession mode, however, unlike its western counterparts, events of the film get quite eerie, especially when she begins speaking to those in attendance at the exorcism in the voices of their friends and loved ones who have died. While Exorcism may not be overly original and its ambiguous ending leaves a bit to be desired (no spoilers here), overall it’s a decent supernatural thriller sure to get at least a little spook out of the Dantes and Marlowes of the film world.

   

Exorcism Official Facebook

Written by Che Chimera

Exorcism (2017)
Dalibor Matanić (director), INK Pula, Kinogerila (production)
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