aka Exorcist IV – The Beginning, The Exorcist IV
114 min., 2004
Written by William Wisher/Caleb Carr/Alexi Hawley
Directed by Renny Harlin
My rating: ★★
Sigh…it could be worse…I guess.
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So we are back with Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) and his struggles with his faith. Now this takes place before The Exorcist in some part of Kenya. Merrin is asked to go there and help with the excavation of a church. The strange thing about the church is that it looks like it was buried right after it was built, as there is no wear to the structure. As they dig deeper into the church, the village around there starts to have shit go down. Is it the church being dug up that’s causing this or is it what lies beneath the church that’s stirring up the trouble? And what the hell happened during World War II to Father Merrin to make him question is faith so much?
Now the acting in the movie is just bad. No one seemed to be taking any of it seriously. Then when it gets down to the “exorcism” scene, Mr. Skarsgård decides to take it way too seriously. The great thing about the original is that when it came to the final showdown, Merrin and Karras were calm while being terrified. They spoke their words with conviction, but nothing too over the top. In this, instead of just reciting the words, he is literally yelling them at the top of his lungs. That doesn’t make for a more powerful or intense scene; it makes for a very annoying one where you want to turn down the volume until he finally shuts up.
That’s one of the other problems with the movie. Every scene lasts about three minutes too long. There is a childbirth scene that lasts, I swear, about ten minutes. Do I really need to hear a woman screaming while giving birth for that long? No thank you. Hyenas are ripping apart a kid for about another five minutes. Again way too long, going from pretty good to just plain annoying.
Now the effects are the only real saving grace of the movie. They aren’t the best you are going to see, but they really get the job done, and done right. The CG hyenas are believable enough and when Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) is crawling all over the walls, it is actually quite unnerving.
Overall the movie is a real bust, but there are some good scenes throughout. Should you watch it? No, not really. But if you have about two hours to waste, check it out and revel in the crap that is The Beginning.Have You Read...?