Godless The Eastfield Exorcism

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) at Overlook 2023

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism had its world première at the Overlook Film Festival 2023 Nick Kozakis’ Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism opens with text stating that it is “inspired by true events”, yet ends with a disclaimer that its characters are entirely fictitious. It is a familiar paradox in films about exorcism, which tend to play…

Requiem

Requiem (2006)

Requiem first published by Film4 Summary: Sandra Hüller puts in an award-winning debut in Hans-Christian Schmid’s dramatic dissection of a notorious exorcism case from 1970s Germany. Review: For ten long months between 1975 and 1976, Anneliese Michel, a devout Catholic student with a long history of temporal lobe epilepsy, willingly submitted herself twice a week to violent…

Benedetta

Benedetta (2021)

Benedetta first published by VODzilla.co Paul Verhoeven‘s latest film opens with Benedetta (Elena Plonka) being taken by her parents in a carriage to join a convent. When, en route, the family comes under attack from armed soldiers on horseback, one of whom snatches a golden necklace from Benedetta’s mother (Clotilde Courau), the little girl boldly…

Luz the Flower of Evil

Luz: The Flower of Evil (aka Luz) (2019)

Luz: The Flower of Evil first published by Little White Lies The prologue to writer/director Juan Diego Escobar Alzate’s Luz: The Flower of Evil (aka Luz, though not this one) is an impressionistic kaleidoscope of scenes from a woodland property. We see piles of timber by the foundations of a new house, a hecatomb of…

The Family

The Family (2021)

The Family has its European première at the Easter Grimmfest, 2022 “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”, goes the text that opens The Family. It is a quote from the section in Plato’s Republic on the Allegory of the Cave, advertising that what follows…

Hollow

Hollow (2021)

The title appears in small capital letters to the bottom right of the screen, while the centre is occupied by an absence: a mark in the paint of the wall where clearly there was once a crucifix hanging. It is a sign that Laura Ryan (Laura Bayston), gaunt and wasted away with the gnawing of…

Red Lights

Red Lights (2012)

Red Lights first published by Little White Lies “Why have you come here tonight? What are you hoping to see? Do you think I should surprise you? Do you think I should entertain you?” These are the questions that blind psychic extraordinaire Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) poses near the end of Red Lights, both…

Black Easter

Black Easter (2021)

Jim Carroll’s Black Easter carefully set its store in the opening sequence. To the accompaniment of a bombastic orchestral score, baroque gold credits appear on screen – the first reading “Jason Castro as Jesus” – over the incongruously anachronistic image of a red car speeding along a road. “Stop, wait, time out, says protagonist Ram…

Confession

Confession (2020)

Daniel C. Nyiri’s Confession opens with the introduction of two separate characters. Dean McCallum (Gavin Lyall) is a good-natured, generous, well-liked man about town, and a literature professor with a drily ironic wit. And depressive 26-year-old Heather Kadar (Jo Kuzelka) is seeing a therapist about her sense of guilt, trauma and confusion over having miraculously…

Sinners

The Sinners (aka The Color Rose) (2020)

“This story isn’t about truth, or love – this story is about sin.” says Aubrey Miller (Brenna Llewellyn) in voiceover near the beginning of The Sinners (aka The Color Rose). The film opens in medias res: Aubrey is on her knees praying when a car pulls up behind her, and six young women in masks…

Padmavyuha

Padmavyuha (2020)

Before a young multi-cultural audience in an American university, Shaki Ramdas (Nikhil Prakash), a confident, clean-shaven professor of sociology and religious studies, is giving a lecture on the nature of faith. He even writes the word in big capitals on the blackboard and underlines them: FAITH. As he carefully disentangles religion from the other two…