Title:  The Pope’s Exorcist

Year: 2023

Genre: Horror | Thriller |

Runtime: 103 min

Director: Julius Avery

Starring: Russell Crowe, Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe


Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden.


It’s sort hard to believe that a big studio even greenlighted a film like this one. It’s based on an exorcist working in the Vatican for the Pope whose job is do exorcism. Every now and then Hollywood puts out a film with a story that doesn’t engage the audience and has flaws beyond recognition. There’s a couple of these stories produced every single year. Few reaches the spotlight and get praised for its effort but this film, The Pope’s Exorcist, doesn’t deliver if you may have any expectation of this kind of plot.

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 It’s not that it’s horrible. But it’s just dull, derivative, sort of an abysmal of a production. Russell Crowe does what he can. He can’t have the weight of the film on his shoulder. The supporting roles like Daniel Zovatto, playing Father Esquibel, is just as confused as the audience. He just exists and doesn’t move the story forward nor backwards. It tries hard to give in with effort with the religious bits, the devil, sacrifices, the exorcism and the thrilling horror-element you might expect with this kind of genre.

One of the major problems is the script, the characterization makes the protagonist, and his colleagues feels dumb and plain. There’s no effort put in the dialogue or essence that make the characters to stand out from the crowd.  Not to mention the film’s direction and effortless direction with overexposure of the exposition. Crowe might be the only one caring for the character but there’s almost nonexciting or thrilling scenes done to engage the audience. It’s a forgotten story among others.

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The tone isn’t alright, and we don’t get to know these enough to even care about what they’re going through. It’s more like a super-natural detective story than a story about the Pope’s exorcist in the late 1980s. The direction by Julius Avery is also a little off, we don’t go deep in the plot, and he tries several times to imitate the classic The Exorcist (1973) but it’s only off-putting and sad for the film.

In summary, you could say it’s a braindead production with dark scenes and an unengaged story and uninvested characters.

Grade 2 of 5
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