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The Vatican Tapes (2015)

A review by CJ Dee

Angela (Dudley) is a young woman who lives with her boyfriend, Pete (Amedori). When her father (Scott) visits to surprise her for her birthday, she displays odd behaviour and causes a car crash where she is the only person seriously injured. While recovering in hospital, it becomes apparent to resident priest Father Lozano (Peña) that it is Angela’s soul, not her body, in need of saving.

I didn’t actively dislike The Vatican Tapes until the ending. I hadn’t been enjoying the film, but it was only within the last few minutes when I realised how it was going to end that I really disliked it. Without spoiling it for anyone interested in watching, I will say that there is no real ending for The Vatican Tapes. The film just dwindles off without closure.

There is no concern for the characters because there is no reason to care about them. The lead up to the possession goes through the motions and the characters spend so much time telling us how much they all love each other, it feels forced.

Usually horror movies based around demonic possession and exorcisms are quite disturbing. Unfortunately, The Vatican Tapes didn’t really nail the creep factor. Some of the scenes towards the climax were so ridiculous that I was laughing out loud. Not the ideal reaction to a film about a girl in her prime struck down by demonic possession.

The film was overall not particularly entertaining and doesn’t bring much to the exorcism or horror genres. I would only recommend that fans of the genre who must see every cinematic exorcism watch The Vatican Tapes.

Rating: 2/5
Mark Neveldine
Starring: Michael Peña, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori
Other notable appearances: A lot more laughs than intended
Running time: 91 minutes

The Vatican Tapes — feet pierced and bleeding hover above the title, below which a man wearing a large cross and robes walks down a hallway

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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