William Friedkin Revists ‘The Exorcist’ in the Ridiculous Documentary ‘The Devil and Father Amorth’

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

The Devil and Father Amorth

The Exorcist remains one of the high points of the horror genre that continues to captivate audiences with its uniquely terrifying portrayal of demonic possession and the Catholic ritual of exorcism. More than 40 years after he brought the horrific tale by William Peter Blatty to the screen, director William Friedkin still seems to be quite intrigued by the rite of exorcism as well as the legacy of his masterwork of horror. Friedkin revisits The Exorcist and demonic possession in his new documentary The Devil and Father Amorth, filming an actual exorcism performed by Father Gabriel Amorth, the exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. It’s a messy piece of documentary filmmaking from a filmmaking legend, a film where Friedkin is trying to prove what he believes to be true, concrete evidence be damned.

Friedkin directs and is his own narrator, first starting by introducing himself as the director of The Exorcist and taking the viewer to locations from the movie and interviewing the author behind the film, the aforementioned Blatty. That William Peter Blatty found real life inspiration for his novel is the starting point that Friedkin chooses. The he propels his film to Rome, introducing us to Father Amorth and telling us that the priest is a fan of Friedkin’s film even if he thought the special effects were over the top.

In Italy, we’re told, there are around 500,000 exorcisms performed each year. Friedkin gets permission from Father Amorth to film an exorcism. However, there are conditions – only Friedkin is allowed; no crew, no lights. The subject of this exorcism is Christina (an alias), an architect about to undergo her ninth exorcism. This is the start of where William Friedkin and his film begin to fly off the rails. Friedkin sits back and films Christina rocking back and forth as Father Amorth prays over her. She convulses and has to be restrained by a family member. The prayers continue and these warped guttural noises come from this frail architect. Is she possessed or is she suffering from a form of undiagnosed mental illness? Has Friedkin tampered with the audio to make this woman sound more menacing or does she actually sound like that? These are the questions that linger and neither will have satisfactory answers.

The director posits that you can only be possessed by the devil if you believe in the devil, and he’s got a point there because most people would probably consult a medical professional before a priest if afflicted with a mysterious illness that induced involuntary convulsing. Friedkin then takes his footage to various experts in the theological and medical fields. As hard as he tries to get these educated professionals to concede, they more or less just placate him with the acknowledgement that there are things we just don’t know about. You can’t blame anyone for not wanting to call an Oscar-winning director on his bullshit to his face.

The Devil and Father Amorth wouldn’t be so ethically troubling if Friedkin used his film for a genuine exploration of faith and questioning the realm of what’s possible. Instead, Friedkin talks to the camera like a sensationalist huckster lacking the gravitas that Robert Stack was able to lend even the cheesiest episode of Unsolved Mysteries. It gets even worse when Friedkin adds a little coda to the story of Christina, one where there’s not a single second of recorded evidence. The director recalls meeting Christina and her husband in a church where they threaten his life for footage of the exorcism. All kinds of after effects are added to warped, colorized footage of the church as Friedkin recalls this wildly implausible tale as if it were an episode of World’s Wildest Police Videos. Even if you were with Friedkin most of the way, this moment of outlandish storytelling should leave any viewer with a considerable amount of doubt as to the veracity of the film’s claims.

Though only a hair over an hour long, The Devil and Father Amorth feels like it was stretched beyond the point of reason. As much as Friedkin has earned respect with his impressive filmography, The Devil and Father Amorth is pretty much just a glorified DVD extra with flimsy production values and a sense of self-aggrandizement. I’m not a believer in God or the Devil, but I wanted to believe that William Friedkin was a legendary filmmaker and not a huckster selling a bundle of bad goods.

The Devil and Father Amorth
  • Overall Score
2.5

Summary

The legendary director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin, revisits the topic of demonic possession and the Catholic ritual of exorcism in the unconvincing, borderline unethical documentary The Devil and Father Amorth, where the Oscar-winning director films an actual exorcism.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Halloween 2018
David Gordon Green’s ‘Halloween’ is a Thrilling, Satisfying, and Brilliant Sequel to a Horror Classic

Michael Myers is a killing machine that just won’t die. Since...

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Now on Blu-ray: Marvel’s Smallest Heroes Come Up Big in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

After making one of the biggest movies of all time with...

Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Series
Now on Blu-ray: The Gory, Groovy ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series’

Do you believe in miracles? I do. There’s just one simple...

Event News Event Reviews
The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner. Related

Long Beach Comic Con Photo Gallery

Related

viz media
Have no Fear, for Viz Media is Here! – SDCC 2018

I grew up reading more manga than I did American comics....

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

pix
Make Better PIX this Year with PIX Smart Animative Backpack

Start the school year off by making better life PIX, like picking up...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
PFL 9 Lightweight and Light Heavyweight Semi-Final Results From Long Beach

Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Professional Fighters League (PFL) 9 took...

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleased Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) continues its West Coast domination with...

Combate Americas: Camino a Copa Combate Results from Long Beach

Tonight Combate Americas, the premiere Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts organization featured...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter & the Cat Conjuring pt7 subsection1: Behold: Tacocat!

Tacocat comes to Hogwarts but is he friend or FOE?

Cultural Junkdrawer – Why is it so familiar? 2018 Summer movie recap.

In case you haven’t noticed: summer is over. Most of you...

Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring pt 6

Related

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 5 Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford and The Fourth Estate

This week on Coastal Commoners, R.C. and Gary speak with Riverdale...

Coastal Commoners Ep 4 Talking Baseball with Ernie Paicopolos of FenwayNation

This week, Gary and R.C. speak with Ernie Paicopolos, the Editor-in-Chief...

Coastal Commoners Ep 3 The Dirty World of Politics

Editor’s Note: The views reflected in Coastal Commoners are those of...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: