Low Budget, Low Impact, Possession Schlocker

This type of film, I don’t normally watch, but every now and then, it’s good to get grounded, and see what the lower end of the spectrum is looking like these days. Not the lowest, but definitely near the latter part of said spectrum. In fairness, I’ve discovered some really good films, like The Blair Witch Project, made for the bargain price of $60 thousand, then of course, Fathers Day, made in 2011 for the ridiculously low sum of $10 grand, with its five directors, and wacky acting it was a fun, yet serious bloodfest. Thinking back on it now, it yet brings tears to my eyes, and any men out there who’ve also seen it, will understand (shudder). This, however, is a different beast entirely, with it being a serious attempt at straight horror-filmmaking, which it admittedly achieves, if only for a few minutes — occasionally, but it lacks in too many departments, for me to take reviewing it as seriously as the very busy Philip Gardiner clearly has taken to make Exorcist Chronicles. I’ll agree it is indeed only a $100 thousand movie, but I’m struggling to find where the money has gone. The visual effects failed in most scenes, as Gardiner constantly tried his hand at style, the sound was simply horrendous, as it was dubbed way too loud in a lot of places, taking away what little pleasure I had accrued, albeit slowly.

Exorcist Chronicles
Philip Gardiner
Rudy Barrow, Liz Mente Bishop, Nathan Head
Release Date
1 April, 2013
Influx Grade: D+

I’m not saying this film is a failure, because it isn’t, it gave a certain amount of entertainment, and really, that’s all anyone can ask of any movie. It is noticeably cheap in many ways, and the reason I think I didn’t take to this film as well as I could have, was mostly down to an experienced director like Philip Gardiner, creating something too amateur looking to feel the way one would feel about, say, a young first timer, stretching their creative wings a bit. Instead, it felt rushed, the actors were never allowed to fully warm up, and the sound was the biggest let down of all. I would have liked to have seen a bit more dialogue, or events better explained, because the fashion in which it was doled out, in bits here and there didn’t really work for this film. The acting was mostly good, and with any low-budget production, you have to accept that a lot of things are simply too costly, like good CG, or high-end digital effects, but this was a case of too much trying for style, instead of going for a better told story. This one isn’t a keeper I’m afraid.

Review by E. Blackadder, special to Influx Magazine

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