The Pope's Exorcist - We're at this stage of Russell Crowe's career?

Directed by Julius Avery (Overlord).

The only thing giving me hope is the director made Overlord, which was bonkers dumb in a good way.

Does Crowe owe the IRS back taxes?

Maybe he found a house he likes.

Are you not exorcised?

What is with that accent? Is he channeling Lugosi?

He looks like a giant Antonio Banderas in that thumbnail.

I will watch this, no matter how bad it is. :D


Unless you just want to see Russell Crowe motoring around on a Vespa, this was pretty underwhelming. But if anyone wants to watch a not-very-good exorcism movie, let me recommend Pray for the Devil instead for its bonkers worldbuilding. Pray for the Devil’s exorcism stuff is all very familiar, but the wind-up is hilariously earnest and quite entertaining. If you need any convincing, I’ll spoil it for you:

The premise of Pray for the Devil is that the Catholic Church has an exorcism college for graduate-level training in exorcising demons, and since this is the Catholic Church, ladies aren’t allowed to be exorcists. There’s a big building and campus and everything, with a sign that says something obvious like “Exorcism College”. But that’s just the beginning. It gets goofier.

More spoilers?

During classes, students sometimes go to the exorcism lab in the basement of the college, where they keep possessed people for lab studies, workshops, seminars, that sort of thing. The premise of Pray for the Devil is that – oops! – the class messes up an exorcism lab and a nun who’s along as an observer gets drawn into a demonic scheme. Did I mention this is NOT a comedy and that it’s all presented very seriously?

The actual movie isn’t nearly as fun as the set-up, which I’ve just ruined for you. But at least maybe I’ve steered some unsuspecting viewers away from The Pope’s Exorcist to the more interesting Pray for the Devil.

EDIT: So I just looked it up because I obviously didn’t remember, but the title is actually PREY for the Devil. Get it? Prey instead of pray? Some real wordsmiths worked on that movie.

I haven’t seen The Pope’s Exorcist yet, but I did watch Prey for the Devil and the goofiest bit for me was…

…when they earnestly revealed that the possessed kid was her daughter all along like it was some big twist! Yeah, thanks movie. We figured that out when she first started talking about how she had a baby and they made her give it up.

But hey, I’ll take more Jacqueline Byers where I can get it. I did have to do a double-take when Virginia Madsen popped up.

Ha ha, you saw Prey for the Devil.

Right?!? I didn’t want to get into my usual “such-and-such actor was really good”, but…Jacquiline Byers was really good in Prey for the Devil! There are a million lovely blonde actresses who could have whiffed that role, but she managed to stand out. I also really liked a fellow named Colin Salmon, a black character actor I’ve seen a million times, as her boss. He’s kind of like a less intimidating Idris Elba.

Meanwhile, all Pope’s Exorcist offers is Russell Crowe committing to an Italianey accent.

By the way, Christopher Smith (of Triangle fame) just released his latest, which is also about nuns. It’s called Consecration and it’s a decent enough horror mystery. Not an exorcism movie, though.

Yup. I give her major props for delivering those goofball lines with a fair amount of gravitas and emotion. It doesn’t hurt that she’s got one of those faces that isn’t just cookie-cutter pretty.

I hadn’t heard of Prey for the Devil, but now I kind of want to see it.