As much as I appreciate laughing uproariously at a good comedy or getting an emotional charge from a pointed drama, I’m never happier with a movie than when it’s actively terrorizing my mental state. The feeling hasn’t gone away with age, but the percentage of movies that provoke that feeling has drastically lessened, due to over-saturation I’m sure. But I’ll take three dozen shitty zombie and vampire movies to get one amazing one. And I’ll sit through just as many predictable slasher flicks to find the one that really chops my socks off. But when it comes to movies about exorcisms, I think the devilish well dried up many years ago. Once oxymoronically-named movies like The Last Exorcism: Part II exist, there’s nowhere left to turn.
So of course The Vatican Tapes is finally going into production next month, after first surfacing back in 2009. The horror film, directed oddly enough by Mark Neveldine (Crank 2: High Voltage), only had actor John Patrick Amedori (The Last Stand) previously attached, but a recent press release announced the rest of the cast, as well as a more detailed description of the film. Feel free to mull over the many different areas you think The Vatican Tapes could go before moving on to the next paragraph.
Olivia Dudley (Chernobyl Diaries) will play 27-year-old Angela Holmes, “an ordinary girl who begins to have a devastating effect on anyone close to her, causing serious injury and death.” Michael Peña (End of Watch) will play local priest Father Lozano, who believes Holmes to be possessed. He calls in Vicar Imani – to be played by Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) – and Cardinal Bruun – played by Peter Andersson (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) – but it turns out the demon inside her is more ancient and evil and Satanic and evilly ancient Satanical than any of them could possibly comprehend!
The original description of the film said it was a leaked video tape about an exorcism gone wrong, which made me think it would take a found-footage shaky cam approach, something we’ve seen before. But there’s no mention of this format in the press release. I kind of hope they scrap it entirely, and the “tape” in the title doesn’t mean anything at all. Keep us guessing, Neveldine!
Rounding out the rest of the cast is Dougray Scott (Hemlock Grove), who will play Holmes’ father and Kathleen Robertson (Boss), whose character doesn’t get a description. This will also be the first American film debut for Russian actor and musician Alex Sparrow.
Christopher Borrelli (Whisper) wrote the screenplay based on a story he created with Chris Morgan, who wrote the last four Fast & Furious movies.
Neveldine and Morgan’s involvement make me think this movie could get really over-the-top really quickly, and if that happens, I’ll be possessed to cut you guys in line at the theater.