söndag 5 april 2020

The Assent

Exorcism films comes in many different shapes with different plots, and some films actually try to mix in different ideas into the exorcism genre. We could probably discsuss what films have managed to bring the exorcism genre back on its feet, and what films failed to give this genre respect. But there is one film that was released 10 years ago, that i feel gave the exorcism genre new life in a very powerful way. The film i am thinking about is The Last Exorcism, directed by Daniel Stamm. This found footage supernatural horror film not only managed to bring back the classic concept of exorcism cases, but also managed to do it very effective with the amazing performance from actress Ashley Bell. The Last Exorcism may be one of the last really good exorcism films that i remember in the last 10 years, and director Daniel Stamm clearly worked really hard to make sure that the fans of this genre would be pleased with his vision. This film tells the story of Reverend Cotton Marcus ( played really good by actor Patrick Fabian ), who has lost faith and is performing fake exorcisms. When he is asked to help farmer Louis, who believe his daughter is possessed by a demon, he agree to go there and film the whole encounter with documentary directors Iris and Daniel. At first Reverend Cotton believe this is all fake, but while seeing the behavior of Louis daughter Neil, he realise that this may be the first real case he have ever encountered. The Last Exorcism is a must see if you love exorcism films, and if you get the Blu Ray you will get a lot of very interesting special features. Last week i was going through some horror released on DVD and Blu Ray, and picked up a title called The Assent. One of the reasons was because of the really gorgeous cover, and also because this film is said to be an exorcism film. Is this a horror film that is actually much better than you might expect, or is The Assent doomed to end up in the nearest garbage can ?

Joel ( Robert kazinsky ) is struggling to survive as a mechanic, as he tries to give his son Mason ( Caden Dragomer ) a good childhood. But when Mason´s babysitter Cassie ( Hannah Ward ) tells Joel she is thinking about going to college, Joel is upset. He has to work, and if she leaves he needs a new babysitter. It becomes clear to Joel is schizophrenic. He takes his medication, but his medication is not very effective. Joel see that Mason´s behavior is changing, and seems to be possessed by something evil. Joel gets help from Father Lambert ( Peter Jason ) who have dealed with exorcism in the past. Father Lambert have a team with him, to help Mason return to become a normal boy. Sometimes, Joel can see an evil entity that looks like a creature, as he Believe this entity is connected to Mason. What is going on in Joel´s home, is there an evil entity trying to control Mason, or is there another explantation ?

There is especially one thing that makes The Assent stand out from the ordinary exorcism film. And that is that this is a story about a single father, struggling to survive with very little money, to make his son´s life as good as possible. In most single parents films, we see mostly single mothers struggling, but not from a father´s perspective. This does not mean that i am trying to say that father´s have bigger problems than mother´s, not at all. But i think it is important to remember that there are father´s out there who are struggling, to make their children´s life good. The exorcism scenes in this film are actually quite effective, without going over the top. But the biggest highlight in this film ( for mer personally ) is the evil entity. It actually looks like a bigger version of the monster in the 1982 cult cassic Basket Case ( a must see if you have not seen this one ). And i have to say that the design of this creature is better than i expected. Acting wise i would say that this film does manage to bring some interesting characters, especially lead actor Robert Kazinsky ( who you might recognize from Pacific Rim ). Robert give his character Joel both depth and a realistic portrait of a struggling father. Legendary actor Peter Jason ( who i blieve most of you remember from the 1988 cult film They Live ) gives a performance that works with his character Father Lambert. I would have liked to know more about Father Lambert´s background, since it feels like he could have an interesting past. There are moments in the film where i feel that The Assent loose some of the power it builds up through long dialogue scenes. When it would have been a good idea to bring out a horror surprise instead. But overall, i would say that The Assent is a nice return to the classic exorcism genre, with a different approach than most films in this genre. Director Pearry Reginald Teo is clearly inspired by exorcism films, but manage to balance the story with some different ideas. And that he brings in the subject of a patient, suffering from schizophrenia, give this film an interesting turn, especially when you know that this mental disorder can cause chaos. The Assent is a horror film that may not break any new grounds, but certainly give this genre a fresh wind of inspiration. Worth checking out on VOD, DVD or Blu ray.

Rating: DDD

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