A recluse seeks redemption with the return of an old enemy in this horror thriller which marks the English language debut of filmmaker Alejandro Hidalgo.
Eighteen years ago, Father Peter Williams was in Mexico when he was called upon to save a young woman named Magali. When he calls upon the Vatican to send their top exorcist, Father Michael Lewis, to come, he is told to wait two days. Peter gets worried Magali will die if nothing is done now and therefore, performs the exorcism himself to disastrous results. Peter ends up possessed and forced to do an unspeakable act that will haunt him forever.
Now a recluse living in a small town in Mexico, Peter spends his time helping the local farmers out as well as attempt to help sick children. When children keep dying in the area, Peter is convinced it is because he is being cursed for what happened years ago. However, when a young woman named Esperanza is revealed to be possessed, Peter is convinced it is the same spirit that haunted him years ago. He must rely on Father Michael to help him destroy the demonic spirit once and for all because there’s a rise he may become possessed again.
With the success of his hit 2013 debut The House at the End of Time, Venezuela’s first horror film, Alejandro Hidalgo has become quite the filmmaker and while an English-language remake of his debut film is still in development, Hidalgo makes his English language debut with this terrifying tale inspired by the likes of the classic Exorcist among others and yet puts his own spin on the genre.
The story of a priest’s search for both faith and redemption is a terrifying look at first, a failed attempt at an exorcism that caused the priest to commit one of the most cardinal sins a man of the cloth can perform. Will Beinbrink pulls off an amazing performance as Father Peter, who in order to redeem himself from his past sin, must confront the very same demon that nearly destroyed him eighteen years before. Even when he comes face to face with the woman he attempted to help years ago, he feels remorse and regrets ever doing what he had done with her forgiving him because she knows deep down it wasn’t his fault.
Joseph Marcell, who will be forever known as the sarcastic butler Geoffrey on the hit show Fresh Prince of Bel Air, is excellent in the role of Father Michael, the Vatican’s top exorcist. In the opening scene, Michael tells Peter he needs to wait two days as is the protocol. Like Magali, Michael forgives Peter for what has happened in the past and yet Peter cannot forgive himself. When Michael learns of the present day’s possession of Esperanza, instead of the protocol, Michael fears things will go bad right away and thus, he arrives to help Peter fend off the demonic spirit so he can save both Esperanza and Peter as well as himself in the process.
The Exorcism of God is a film that’s not only a great possession film, but we get to see the other side of things as we see a priest look for redemption in his hunt to take down the former demon who nearly destroyed him inside and out. Excellent performances by Will Beinbrink and Joseph Marcell make this one to watch!
WFG RATING: A-
Saban Films and XYZ Films presents an Epica Pictures production in association with Mouth of the Devil and Terminal. Director: Alejandro Hidalgo. Producers: Alejandro Hidalgo, Antonio Abdo, Karim Kabche, and Joel Seidl. Writers: Santiago Fernandez Calvete and Alejandro Hidalgo. Cinematography: Gerard Uzcategui. Editing: Rodrigo Rios and Dester Linares.
Cast: Joseph Marcell, Will Beinbrink, Maria Gabriela de Faria, Raquel Rojas, Iran Castillo, Alfredo Herrera, Juan Ignacio Aranda, Hector Kotsifakis, Christian Rummel, Johanna Winkel.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on March 11.