The Exorcism of Emma Evans
With her modern mum insisting on her being home school, 15 year old Emma Evans (Sophie Vavasseur) is unsurprisingly turning in to a bit of a rebel, locking horns with her mum over being allowed to do things with her father siding with her to little avail. But when Emma starts doing things without being aware of them and having violent fits things become more serious with her mum sure it is just psychological problems whilst Emma is convinced something darker exists inside her and wants her uncle, a priest to exorcise what ever it is controlling her.
Before watching "Exorcismus" I had never given it much thought about how the typical signs of demon possession which are shown in movies are not to dissimilar to those of someone having a fit. So the idea of making a movie which uses that as part of its driving force is actually quite good especially when they combine it with the hallucinative powers of young people experimenting with drugs. Add on top of that the repressive situation of a mother home school her daughter and you have a set up which could mean troubled kid with a chemical imbalance in their brain or something a lot more sinister.
Now I like the set up to "Exorcismus" and there is a nice series of sinister scenes which make you question what is happening. There is a scene where Emma tries to drown her little brother but she is displaying the archetypal signs of possession with her eyes rolled back and unawareness of what she is doing, or is she? Is it a case of a seizure and she doesn't know what she is doing. There are other scenes but with a slight edge towards the more sinister as it slowly shows that there is something more sinister at work here which to be frank isn't a spoiler as the title suggests this.
The one trouble which "Exorcismus" has is an issue of style and so personal likes and dislikes come in to play. Personally I get sick of floaty camera movies where the camera is always on the movie; be it zooming in, flicking side to side or rotating around people in an almost organic sort of way as if the cameraman is shifting to find a different look. And then there is the horror aspect and the horror of "Exorcismus" is more to do with what is going on rather than unsettling moments.
What this all boils down to is that in many ways "Exorcismus" is an intriguing concept which during its build up works well. But for me the constantly moving camera work and a few other things end up being a roadblock to my enjoyment of what could have genuinely been both a clever and unsettling movie.