• Name: The Vatican Tapes
• Year: 2015
• Country: USA
• Director: Mark Neveldine
• Main cast: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Dougray Scott
• Runtime: 91 minutes
• Production company: Lionsgate, Lakeshore Entertainment, Pantelion Films
In this world of ours it is rare to find another battle that represents better the war between “good” and “evil” than in exorcism movies. Aside some very little exceptions, the “good” is always portrayed by the exorcist priests, no matter what fucked up things they did in the past, and “evil” is the demon who took possession of a young girl and now makes her do creepy stuff and speak weird languages. You can find plenty of different start points and side stories, but pretty much that’s it.
The Vatican Tapes is not an exception. Originality is not the best feature of this film, as it’s neither the creation of an attractive thrill and flow. The plot tries to imprint some kind of transcendency to the story when the Vatican detectives discover the case and start to especulate about it, but at the end any little interest the movie could create gets diluted as the minutes go by. And see, I don’t even think I need to tell the synopsis of this flick, just picture the last recent exorcism type movie you’ve seen and there you go.
About the cast here, I think the only worth thing to mention is the acceptable performance of an unknown Olivia Taylor Dudley. She can’t save this whole nonsense, but at least it’s one of the few rays of light to find here. Next to her, only dull and hollow performances. Even from names like Michael Peña whose portray of the local priest with a dark past is utter pathetic, or Djimon Hounsou whose part more than a supporting role is closer to an unnecesary cameo.
This is the first film by director Mark Neveldine to be directed alone, who until the date was in tandem with Brian Taylor. Together they shocked the world with those explosions of adrenaline that were Crank (2006) and Crank: High Voltage (2009). But then everything went south with the intranscendent Gamer (2009) and reaching the bottom of the well with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). With The Vatican Tapes aparently mr. Neveldine doesn’t have the freshness back, because aside of a couple of creepy and mild scary moments, the rest is a totally forgettable tensionless lame directed and acted copycat film.
The Vatican Tapes is another brick to enlarge the wall of mediocre exorcism and demon possession titles we are getting in our hands for the last decades. And, like the rest, it is nothing but another mote of dust compared with the horror masterpiece The Exorcist (1973). Watch it at your own risk. You might get entertained for an hour and half, but nothing more.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1524575
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