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Monday, October 6, 2014

Double Feature Review: The Pact 2 and Asmodexia


I have seen a pile of great movies and even more excellent trailers for upcoming releases especially during the month of October this year. Most of them are festival bound and, unfortunately, not available for review, but movies like Extraterrestrial, Exists and Open Windows have really wowed me thus far. Today I'm unfortunately here to bring you fairly short reviews of movies that didn't wow me from IFC Midnight. IFC Midnight has such a diverse selection of dark fantasy pictures that they can't please everyone. That's just what happened here. I'm pretty sure some of you will actually enjoy both movies in our double feature review tonight, but not me. I won't be watching them again anytime soon.

THE PACT 2

To be fair I didn't enjoy the first one. Ya'll did though. Every one of you. Every single person I come across just LOVES The Pact and for me, it was simply awash with arthouse drivel, slow moving, uneventful mood horror. I really can't abide by that. It isn't entertaining. It makes me feel nothing, and unfortunately that's just what the sequel brought me save for a moment or two toward the finale. That being said, fans of the original are sure to enjoy The Pact 2 because it truly is more of the same.

I admit that the look of the film is professional and, again, it's mood horror so the lighting is quite good, but that's where I stop. The actors are fine, casting is appropriate, but I don't like the characters themselves or rather I just couldn't seem to want to care what happened to them. The same exact thing happened in the original picture. It's a lack of development in the script that does it. A reliance on some obvious red herrings and a few stereotypes.



Synopsis from IFC Midnight:

  Only a few weeks after Annie Barlow exterminated the plague that was the Judas Killer, we meet June Abbott, a woman whose carefully constructed life in Los Angeles is beginning to unravel due to lucid nightmares so awful they disturb her waking life.

When Special Agent Terrence Ballard, the FBI agent assigned to wrap up the case of the newly deceased Judas Killer, shows up at June’s door, he brings with him some terrifying news – there is a Judas copycat killer on the loose in her neighborhood! In the course of his investigation, Ballard shows June a picture of the copycat killer’s victim, and she is stunned to see that it’s the same woman she saw brutally murdered in her nightmares.

A series of hauntings begin to torment June, growing in frequency and ferocity over time. Now, not only does she see murder victims, but her dreams put herself in the role of the murderer. June fears that the spirit of the Judas Killer is the architect of some greater plan in which she must now play a part. June struggles to maintain her grip on sanity as she plunges into her own investigation of these events. No matter the result, the truth will be horrifying; either there is true evil inside of her, or someone, or something, is determined to destroy her…

You dig the first one... you see this one. Simple as that. There are plenty of you who enjoyed the original so I think this picture will do well despite not scaring me, giving me the creeps or, actually keeping me interested. Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath follow up Entrance with a sequel to a fairly successful original and succeed... just not for me.

In Theatres October 10th (currently on VOD)

ASMODEXIA

Where as The Pact 2 was a total wash for me, I must admit that the basic idea of following around an Exorcist over the course of several days is intriguing. It's in Spanish so you'll be reading the whole time. That's not a problem actually save for the fact that it's a bit of a slow mover. You have to be patient and as you wait to read your dialogue... you can get snoozy. There are some great possession sequences though nothing groundbreaking. The budget keeps Asmodexia honest rather than allowing it to feel like a rehash of the cinema possession movies we have been seeing hit the box office lately. 

While the idea is pretty great, the execution leaves a lot of blank space that the director tries to fill with character development that doesn't quite get more than a B cup. Aside from an exceptionally strong ending you simply don't see anything all that unique from a genre that has been hobbled with the dreaded oversaturation. 

Synopsis from IFC Midnight:

 ASMODEXIA concerns Eloy de Palma, an exorcist pastor roaming the darkest corners of the country with his granddaughter Alba. Their mission is to help those possessed by The Evil One, an infection of the soul that is spreading fast, especially among the most vulnerable members of society: children, mental patients, and drug addicts. There is also amysterious cult following them, making it more difficult to help those in need. Each exorcism is tougher than the one before, and every battle with Evil reveals a piece of young Alba’s forgotten past – an enigma that if unconcealed could change the world as we know it.



Compared to the other exorcism and possession flick you've been watching lately Asmodexia at least feels spooky and doesn't try to work within a burdened formula. Perhaps that because it isn't made in the United States. This is the first full length release for director Marc Carreté.

In Theatres and on VOD September 26th

2 comments:

  1. I didn't like THE PACT either... So, there ya go...

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  2. Haven't seen Asmodexia yet because it seems as they do not want to be shown here.... they only agreed to be part of Sitges festival, but months ago it was screened in US and Canada.... Do not know what to expect lol ;)

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