Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley - Review - @BrandonCSites

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015) **
D: Steven R. Monroe
C: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold, Julia Arkos, Tom McLaren

Plot Synopsis: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

Review: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley is a sequel to The Haunting of Molly Hartley, a film that horror fans were clamoring for like they would clamor for a root canal. However, to judge a film simply based on whether or not it was totally necessary would be a disservice to films in general. So, as a good critic, I soldiered on.

Within the first 15 minutes, there's demonic possession, a pregnant woman & priest being thrown through a window, sultry dancing at a club, drugs, booze, gratuitous nudity and, for good measure, a threesome! It's obvious they weren't going for depth or nuance. However, there was this part of my brain that wouldn't quite let me enjoy the trashy shenanigans at hand. 

In The Haunting of Molly Hartley, it was alluded that Molly's spirit ceased to exist when she turned 18. Sure, her body still continued to live, but now it was a vessel to carry out the Devil's agenda. Now, in The Exorcism of Molly Hartley, Molly lives on, but now she's possessed in order to give birth to the Devil in physical form. 

Why did they abandon the story behind the original to go off in this new direction? How dare I ask for things like logic or continuity? However, those lapses of logic & continuity don't just extend to the premise, but to the proceedings as well. For example, the principal setting is at an institution for the criminally insane, yet patients are seen walking around unsupervised. Or, one of the patients is given keys to various rooms in the institution and is allowed to do as they please. Don't they think that at least one person on the staff might question that?!?  

To give credit where it's due, at least the people behind this didn't phone things in. This is a well made film. There's stylish camera compositions. The sets & decoration are visually striking. There's eye catching effects. The cast is solid. Devon Sawa turns in perhaps the best performance of his career, to date. Since the people behind this are present and tried to bring something to a fundamentally wrong headed production, I couldn't simply write it off.

It's watchable, but mainly because I felt obligated to since the cast & crew have clearly put effort into this. 
[R] 96 minutes.

Review for: The Haunting of Molly Hartley

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