[Future Movie Reviews] Len Wiseman’s ‘The Exorcist’ Remake!

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Greetings. I am a film critic from the future. The near future. So near it wouldn’t even impress you. Everything’s the same. It’s depressing. As a future film critic, it’s my task to electronically deliver spoiler-filled reviews of awful films from my present to yours with an aim to keep these cinematic atrocities from existing in the first place through the power of premature bad press. These are my chronicles: The Future Movie Reviews.

Raise your hand if the one thing that always bugged you about The Exorcist was its lack of CG vomit? I only see a couple hands, but you guys are going to f*cking love Len Wiseman’s remake. The remaining 99% of you may find some slight issues with the film.

Head inside for more!

Wiseman has basically taken everything we loved about The Exorcist and adulterated it with a series of typical modern horror tropes. What was once a mature crisis of faith told through a solid story of good vs. evil is now a neutered found footage hodgepodge of familiar beats lacking any gravitas. Luckily, it’s only 88 minutes long.

First and foremost, this film shares the original’s title but not its thematic intent. Wiseman has no interest in examining Catholicism or lost faith. Instead of the original’s two fully-formed exorcists (aged and battle-weary Father Merrin and the nearly faithless Father Karras), this film’s Father Karras conflates them both, offering us half a character in the process. Gone is Karras’ struggle over losing his mother. Gone is the creepy, beautiful prologue in Iraq. The character (dutifully played by a clearly slumming Michael Shannon) simply appears halfway through the film like some kind of Catholic John Constantine. We know he’s troubled merely because he looks like Michael Shannon.

Here’s how the film works: The first half blatantly rips off the Paranormal Activity franchise. After noticing bizarre changes in her behavior, single mother Chris MacNeil (Jessica Alba) begins videotaping her daughter, Regan (Elle Fanning), while she sleeps. Meanwhile, the film delivers its exposition via taped interviews between Chris, Regan, and a child therapist (Modern Family’s Ty Burrell). These scenes deliver exactly what we’ve come to expect from this genre. If barely visible sh*t floating by the corner of the screen still scares you, you might find bits to like here.

Once it’s clear to everyone that Regan’s possessed and not just an asshole, the child psychologist calls in Father Karras. The film shifts completely at this point thanks the to the Vatican-funded film crew following Karras around. Now, instead of boring static security footage, we switch to full color, high quality shaky cam. The change jars, but also artificially extends the film’s watchability. For a minute or two.

The film’s PG-13 rating keeps Regan’s verbal acrobatics tied down and bland. And crotch-stabbing is obviously out of the question. Instead, Wiseman relies heavily on CG distortions of her face along with a pronounced dependance on body contortion gags. If you liked the “Spiderwalk” scene from the original (or a version of the original, anyway), be prepared to get tired of it here. Regan spiderwalks so much in this film, she might as well change her last name to Parker and start fighting crime. Admittedly, the effect is a tad interesting through a found footage lens, but it soon wears out its welcome with a scene in which she spiderskateboards.

She also throws up everywhere, on everything and everybody. Thanks to the power of CG, Regan’s vomit looks like a blast from a fire hose filled with shiny Apple-flavored Gushers™ filling. Worst are the many, many, many instances where Regan spiderwalks and vomits at the same time. If Michael Shannon isn’t wiping vomit off his face in this film, that’s only because he’s too busy slipping in it like he’s walking on banana peels.

The film’s biggest problem, however, is its bizarre and sure to be controversial conclusion. I’m about to discuss the film’s ending, so those who wish to go in unspoiled should turn back now.

*spoilers*

Like the original, the film ends with Father Karras inviting the demon, Pazuzu, into his body as a last ditch effort spare Regan’s life. But instead of using his rekindled faith to overpower Pazuzu and jump out of a window, Karras suddenly finds himself in a flaming CG Hell where he must fight a flaming CG Pazuzu with a flaming CG sword. Aided by Spawn, Karras defeats Pazuzu but only after sustaining injuries himself. At the last moment, an angelic form of Regan appears and gracefully carries him back to our realm where he awakens unharmed. Karras and Regan’s mom fall in love, and everyone lives happily ever after.

So this is a problematic departure from the original, to say nothing of the film’s sudden abandonment of its found footage aesthetic for a full-on action movie brawl in Hell which features the inexplicable appearance of a largely forgotten comic book character. On the other hand, while certainly stupid beyond belief, this might be the film’s best scene from a “so bad it’s good” perspective. For those who enjoy films of legitimate worth, however, this scene encapsulates the abject awfulness of Len Wiseman’s remake. If were were to exorcise all the offensive stuff, there’d be nothing left, save a tiny scrap of accidental camp.

Rating: One Flying Car, Three Hoverboards, and Two Taco Bell Big Macs

 
Source: Bloody Disgusting
  • ParisHiltonLover

    What a piece of shit!

    • Evan Saathoff

      You saw it too?

      • EvanDickson

        Hahaha

  • Darkness69

    “Once it’s clear to everyone that Regan’s possessed and not just an asshole” – this cracked me up! But the sad thing is – I can actually see this remake happening, which is a double-edged sword thing I guess – some idiot reads this and thinks it’s actually a good idea.

    • djblack1313

      Darkness, I LOVED THAT “ASSHOLE” LINE TOO! lol. well done Mr. Saathoff. LOL.

  • djblack1313

    FUCK THIS FUCK THIS FUCK THIS FUCK THIS FUCK THIS! i’ve defended Wiseman in the past but no more. this sound fucking awful!! and PG-13?! nope. forget it. fuck them. i’m not against remakes but there are some movies like JAWS, THE GODFATHER, THE EXORCIST, etc, you don’t remake. at least THE EVIL DEAD remake sounds like they tried to do it justice not with this fuckfest. (i’m angry. can you tell? lol).

  • EvanDickson

    @djblack1313 you realize this is purely satire right? There’s no announcement fir Wiseman to direct. Evan (the other Evan) is just foretelling the future!

    • djblack1313

      DAMN YOU!!!! LOL. you totally scared me and freaked me out! LOL. good one guys! and i still love Evan’s ““Once it’s clear to everyone that Regan’s possessed and not just an asshole” line! that totally made me laugh! Even Saathoff DON’T GIVE THEM IDEAS!!! they will now make the movie this way! lOl.

  • Aaron Emery

    And again Evan Saathoff (or should I call you Mr. Strange?) has made my day. If anything could be worse than the Spiderwalk, it would be spiderskateboarding. Hats off to you sir.

  • lucie-with-a-gun

    a wiseman film and no beckinsale?
    ugh. future breakup spoiled.

  • djblack1313

    i admit i stopped reading half way through i was so pissed. had i seen the spiderskateboarding thing i would have known this is a joke. my face is red.

  • wehoaks

    this site has officially become a self-serving, self-sucking haven for these “journalists”

    • Aaron Emery

      and a haven for negativity, whiny ass commenters. Oops.

      • wehoaks

        Good one.

    • EvanDickson

      @wehoaks you’ve never heard of having fun? We’re providing original content and editorials in addition to the news – like we always have. Evan S’ piece is scary because it accurately reflects remake culture IMO.

      • djblack1313

        EvanD, so true! lol. i may….cough….have overreacted at this because it could (and probably WILL) so easily happen.

  • Nothing333

    Most terrifying article on the site lol.

    • djblack1313

      Nothing333, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so true! this article is THE scariest thing almost ever! LOL.

  • cryocore

    I have been very critical of certain aspects of this site for some time. Dross like this only fuels that. There is enough actual news and insights to keep me coming back, but poorly written overwrought “satire” that serves no purpose and actually fails at being satirical (that is the to use irony as a means of demonstrating the folly of the subject). Not only was this retardly transparent and lacking in any subtlety at all but by pointing out the hyperbole and idiocy you render the entire exercise moot (like explaining the punchline of bad joke before finishing it).

    Terribad writing aside, why do BD writers insist on filling up the site with pointless garbage? Much like that unfunny friend who attempts stand up we can only sit by and suffer through it for so long before needing to point out that they are making a fool of themselves and entertaining no one.

    Between MrD’s vitriol laden hate rants, coverage of non genre films, and dross like this it amazing that this site still even exists let alone has any credibility at all.

    How about you stick to reporting on actual films and leave the comedy to someone better capable of pulling it off.

    A much better article (and one actually suited to the site and author) would have been an opinion piece on the state of modern horror and impact its having on the traditional horror film and horror fan and the possible repercussions.

  • Aaron Emery

    Ya know what, I’ve been reading Evan S’ stuff on another site for awhile now, and I find him to be a brilliant writer, and I am grateful to have him writing stuff like this on BD now. There is still all of the news that this site always had, these guys are working hard to give us the news we want and also editorial & entertainment pieces. I’m not going to say that I’ve never been put off by an article here, I actually commented on one that I felt didn’t belong here just the other day, but I have not a bad word to say towards anyone working on this site. I appreciate the hard work that goes into this site for us readers. I guess after this overlong banter, I just want to say job well done and keep up the good work. And to the people complaining on an editorial piece about wanting news, just click on a news story next time, save me the bother of typing something like this. Thanks BD for giving me my favorite horror site.

  • MaTTz2004

    Man that sounds fucking awful!! Why not just leave it alone.

  • djblack1313

    i admit that this is the first piece i’ve read of Even S’ and his ““Once it’s clear to everyone that Regan’s possessed and not just an asshole” line completely won me over! lol.

  • Evil_Flip

    I’m currently in negotiations with the guys you know as Satan and God to trade Wiseman for Tony Scott, but apparently they think Wiseman’s a piece of shit too.

  • Evan Saathoff

    You guys are great, and I love you all. Yes, even the ones who don’t like me back. It’s a free Internet, and life would be pretty boring if we all had the same brains.