Vampire Owl :: It has been a long time since some horror, right?
Vampire Bat :: Yes, there are not many horror movies releasing here these days; sometimes, there is just none at all.
Vampire Owl :: The world was so much better during The Conjuring days. There was abundance of horror then.
Vampire Bat :: Yes, after that, a lot of horror movies didn’t release here. I have a long list of that.
Vampire Owl :: And there were a few which released too late.
Vampire Bat :: And also the rest which came to some theatres only; those multiplexes – only those where we couldn’t go.
Vampire Owl :: And there was like one show at times when it was not comfortable for us.
Vampire Bat :: And they got cancelled or disappeared completely just too soon.
Vampire Owl :: This is why we should find out own horror.
Vampire Bat :: Exactly! Otherwise, how can we recharge our strengths?
[Gets three cups of tea with tapioca chips].
What is it about? :: After showing a few videos with shots of possession and exorcism, we are taken into the story. A young girl, Angela Holmes (Olivia Taylor Dudley) begins to show some strange behaviour after cutting her finger with a knife during a birthday celebration. Her father Roger Holmes (Dougray Scott) and boyfriend Peter Smith (John Patrick Amedori) are concerned, but it seems to be more of her fear for the hospital as she hasn’t been there since her early childhood. But one day, she is bitten by a raven while traveling inside a bus, and it makes the injury even worse. Her weird behaviour just continues. One day, she doesn’t wake up at all and had to be taken to the hospital again only to cause a car accident. With that, she slips into a comma and doesn’t wake up for a long time, and in the end, the doctors decide to declare her dead.
So, how and where does things take a big turn? :: Roger meets a priest Father Oscar Lozano (Michael Peña) who used to be with the army earlier. The priest becomes suspicious of what has happened with Angela, but as the hospital declares her case hopeless, he decides to provide her with the last rites. But as he begins the same, it turns out that she is not dead at all. That surely makes everyone happy, but things don’t remain the same after her return to the normal life, as it gets worse. The hospital cameras identify her trying to hurt a newborn, and after seeing and questioning her about the same, a detective murders himself with two bulbs. She is moved to the asylum, and things don’t get any better – murders happen and so does chaos. The hospital abandons the case, and now there is only one chance left.
The defence of The Vatican Tapes :: There is a story smoothly told here, and there is no rush with its idea. The ending also signifies that there is scope for something bigger with a possible sequel. The Vatican Tapes also doesn’t go with the cheap scares, and uses it central idea to generate the fear. There is nothing jumping out of darkness, and there is no manifestation of the demons. Instead, what happens here is the realization of the horror that is warming up, and the unlimited terror which is going to be unleashed later. The usual horror characters, especially the annoying ones are missing, and the movie finishes with the rather realistic end to what could happen – a possible end of the world coming closer rather than the exorcists saving the day. The horror in this movie is more on the background and getting right into the viewer with the basic idea!
Claws of flaw :: The movie hasn’t really used its video footage to its advantage, as most of those videos could have been shot just like the rest of the movie. The exorcism scene also doesn’t bring that much strength as expected, and won’t satisfy people who keep seeing the same thing all the time. Something more brutal, or shocking; even something at least surprising was the need of the times considering the number of exorcism movies and the rest of the horror which have come to us in the recent years. There is also not that much information about the demon and the possession, except for bringing that Anti-Christ idea up – a better explanation was a lot in need here, especially with experts in such matters already there as characters; it was never going to be that difficult. Maybe, the sequel, if there is one, can solve some of it.
Performers of the soul :: Olivia Taylor Dudley is the big asset for this movie, as she comes up with some very nice and creepy moments with her performance as the one coming back from the dead, as well as the fully possessed person. We would remember her from the lesser known horror movie Chernobyl Diaries and the more recent Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. The Vatican Tapes has what might be one of her best works among those popularly known – there are those points which you will want to recollect. She will have a bigger job there if there is a sequel for this one. The next notable performance is from Michael Peña who plays the priest who comes to know about this particular possession. Peter Andersson has a smaller, but nice performance here, and lets look out for Djimon Hounsou in case of a sequel.
How it finishes :: The Vatican Tapes is surely an interesting movie, and it will appeal to those who like the movies concerning possession and exorcism. It might not be everyone who are looking for some terrifying events throughout its run, and it is surely better than how it is rated at IMDb and what the critics have said about it. There is also the presence of evil portrayed well enough without adding those ghostly or demonic images, and the connection there with the horror is really well-made – it is gloomy, and hope of something better is not easy to have in here. It does try to be different than a usual exorcism movie, as this one doesn’t end with evil. Yes, it is horror, and is not a pretendor to the genre like some movies which get heavy critical appreciation as horror or superhero movies, but in reality, they are not.
Release date: 24th July 2015
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Mark Neveldine
Starring: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Kathleen Robertson, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori,Peter Andersson, Tehmina Sunny, Noemi Gonzalez, Bruno Gunn, Ashley Gibson, Daniel Bernhardt, Alex Sparrow, Jarvis W. George
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.