‘American Exorcism’ – You’re Going To Need An Exorcism After This One

American Exorcism (2017)

Directed by Tripp Weathers

Synopsis: Courtesy of Uncorked Entertainment
Damon Richter thought he left the world of possessions, exorcisms, and evil behind until an old friend arrives with frightening information about his estranged daughter knowing that only his otherworldly skills can save her.

After seeing movies like The Exorcism and The Conjuring, I’ve become accustomed to the look and feel of demonic possessions in cinema. The green vomit, the head turning 180 degrees, and the profanities have all become characteristics I can use as reference if ever I need to know if my cat is possessed by Beelzebub. American Exorcism however took these pointers, turned them into five year olds, and gave them crack.

American Exorcism follows a man named Damon (Michael Filipowich), who has magical demon powers and must get rid of a demon controlling his daughter Caroline (Kate Tumanova) with the help of his friend Father Padre (William McKinney). The characters in this film are all inconsistent, boring, or unnecessary. The acting is mediocre at best, and when Damon is performing his “magic powers” he looks and sounds like Chris Angel having a stroke.

The fight scenes in this film were choreographed so poorly, it actually made me laugh. Towards the beginning of the film, Damon and Padre are out trying to exercise this possessed farmer in a graveyard with this woman. What ensues looked like it could’ve been ripped from a Marx Brother’s picture. The dialogue most of the time is forced, confusing, or uninteresting. Some characters like Hooper (John Paul Sales) are only in the film to be killed by Caroline or some other possessed person. This is not to say this is a bad thing, but the execution of these characters could have been stronger and had a larger impact on the audience and the other characters. But what really takes the cake in this film is its use of “special” effects. I don’t even think Dragon Ball Z could depict such epic powers.

Do I hate this film? No. Even for all of its flaws, it still managed to get some laughs from me. I will never not laugh when I see Damon doing his Chris Angel schtick, nor will I not cringe when I see such effects as Damon’s Psi attacks (they’re actually demon attacks, but who’s keeping tabs at this point?).

Do I think this film is any good? Hell no. This film completely lost me an hour into it, at which point all care for the characters and story just left my mind. At the end of the day, your 90 minutes are probably better spent re-watching The Conjuring, but if you must know what happens in this film, I would recommend watching an in depth video analysis before picking this up.

3 out of 10 Splats of Blood

American Exorcism is available on VOD at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.