Within horror as a genre, the exorcist movie is as overcrowded as any other approach you could care to mention. Similarly any of this type of film that has followed The Exorcist has to contend with comparisons that will rarely do it any favours. So, if you want to stand out within this busy field you have to attempt something new. In this case, American Exorcism has, behind its none-more-obvious title, decided to try and be an exorcism movie, a teen movie, a drama of regret and a bunch of other stuff all at once. This means that instead of focussing on one case like many of these films, it instead becomes a reductive version of every type of movie it’s trying to cram in.
Michael Filipowich (O1 Boxer from the underrated, largely forgotten alternative universe TV series Charlie Jade) plays Damon, who has the ability to pull the demon out from those afflicted. Trying his best to just be a husband and father and live a normal life, tragedy strikes and his dream is over. Some years later Damon is tasked by an old friend with helping purge the evil that now resides in his own estranged daughter. This inevitably becomes a battle between good and evil and the shot at redemption for Damon.
The low budget VOD market for films is sometimes just plain weird, people. There’s an ever-building catalogue of films that, despite the odd gem, are really just there as a product, not even enough to provoke much of a response. This is a prime example and this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to a film goes exactly the way you think it will. It’s not well written or scary but is frequently laughable. Some of the performances are fine, some aren’t. We’re not sure who this is aimed at. If you find this film in a supermarket chart with a generic cover and a 5 star one-word review from some dude’s website (we dunno, Horrorlollllz.com or something) and buy it anyway, despite the multitude of great movies out there, nothing we say will change that.
Instead we’re going to create a new category for rating films like this. It’s neither truly gobsmackingly awful nor in any way particularly good. It simply exists, and so the rating at the bottom shouldn't be taken as a judgement, more just there are numbers between 1 and 10 and this is one of them that is neither low or high. One extra star just for the way Filipowich munches scenery in a way that’d put Nic Cage to shame, which if nothing else is pretty entertaining. Unnecessary and inessential, this film is definitely, inarguably a film. Meh.
AMERICAN EXORCISM / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TRIPP WEATHERS / STARRING: MICHAEL FILIPOWICH, KATE TUMANOVA, WILLIAM MCKINNEY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW