Movies about exorcism are quite common in the horror genre since the 1973 novel by William Peter Blatty The Exorcist came to life on the silver screen. The Vatican Tapes is another horror movie added to the list and is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD. .
Directed by Mark Neveldine, the story begins when we meet Angela Holmes, played by Olivia Taylor Dudley, a young woman soon to be married. Her father Roger, played by Dougray Scott, is in the military and on leave. He arrives on Angela’s birthday, which is a pleasant surprise. During the birthday party, she is injured, ends up in the hospital, and she starts to act strange. Father Lozano, played by the wonderful Michael Pena, happens to be present to witness some of Angela’s behavior. Father Lozano curiosity or spiritual perception compels him to see more of her, and after some time he is certain she is possessed by the devil. Security footage of one of Angela’s strange fits is brought into the Vatican. After viewing the footage, a sound decision is made that only an exorcism can save the young woman.
The set up for the third act where Angela receives the exorcism is rather slow. The build up and suspense never really hits a high note of intensity. When the pivotal point finally arrives, the story begins to move in the right direction. The exorcism happens in a believable and suspenseful way. Sure enough, belongings and possessions make eerie noises with furniture and such bouncing all over the place. Angela performs back bends in unnatural ways of a possessed human, which is similar to other movies of the same genre. A clever twist at the end is important to know in case you decide not to finish the movie or lose interest and miss the point. The twist is worth watching at the end of the movie.
Neveldine delivered a quality production were the acting shined. The scary scenes were okay, but nothing new for a movie about exorcism. The storyline may be done to death, but if you like the theme, you will probably enjoy the movie.