The Horror Honeys: 'Exeter' is an Exorcism Film of a Different Color

'Exeter' is an Exorcism Film of a Different Color

A New Release Review from Revenge Honey Linnie

Exeter (2015)

It's an undeniable and sad truth in Hollywood right now: remakes and sequels make money and they aren't going away. Director Marcus Nispel has been responsible for remake/sequels of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, a TV version of Frankenstein, and Conan the Barbarian... So, thanks for nothing there. Obviously, when I heard he was finally releasing an entirely original movie, I was skeptical. But as it turns out, Nispel might be a trustworthy source of horror in the future, because his first original film, Exeter, is kind of a blast.

The Story: After an all-night, drug-fueled party in an abandoned asylum, a group of dumbass teenagers accidentally unleash a demonic spirit that begins to possess them one by one. When they decide to try and exorcise the demon themselves via a DIY exorcism website, they of course, make things worse. Will they survive? And do they deserve to after doing a DIY exorcism on a tween boy?

It's a strange sort of stasis, loving a genre of film that doesn't ever change much. The horror sub-genre of possession films tend to follow along very similar lines, regardless of who makes them or what country they come from: a person (usually one of the unfaithful, but occasionally one of the very faithful) is possessed by a demon, vengeful spirit, or other, and then a holy man (usually with doubts of his own) is called upon to expel the possessor from the possessed.

Or idiot teenagers playing 'Light as a Feather, Stiff as Board...'
Kids still do this shit?
There are amazing examples of this formula, such as William Friedkin's The Exorcist, or Scott Derrickson's The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Then, there are awful ones, like William Brent Bell's The Devil Inside, and Ric White's The Bell Witch Haunting. But as a lover of possession films, it is rare to come across one that does anything truly different, and manages to succeed. 

Marcus Nispel's Exeter was that movie for me, and while it wasn't perfect, I absolutely enjoyed the ride, and appreciated that it swung for the fences on the originality front. What started out as your typical, "idiot kids act disrespectful, stir up some trouble, then try to fix said trouble by being even more disrespectful" was turned on its head by a heaping dose of a humor and plenty of unexpected, loving middle-fingers to the genre. It's because Exeter decides to completely forgo convention while still embracing the elements that make possession movies so unsettling that I enjoyed it so much.

4 out of 5 dentists agree... that isn't the recommended use for that toothbrush.
Now, that isn't to say its perfect. The revenge element of writer Kirsten McCallion's script really had me excited, and I was 100% on board, and then I felt that the ending dropped the ball a bit. However, it is notoriously difficult to stick the ending of most exorcism films, and I loved enough of Exeter to forgive it this one failing.

Acted by a really solid cast, including Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Gage Golightly (Teen Wolf), Exeter is one of my favorite recent additions to the "exorcism film" canon. And consider me excited to see what Marcus Nispel can do now that he is being trusted with material that isn't covered in the dust of a decade's worth of remakes.

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 DIY Exorcisms out of 5

Exeter is available for pre-order now before its September 1, 2015 release!

What film does the power of Christ compel YOU to watch?
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