The Crucifixion, 2017

© Lionsgate

Inspired by true events. And?
So is every third studio film nowadays.
Father Dumitru (Catalin Babliuc). And?
He would fit in perfectly with the rest of the cast of The Witch by Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse). And?
Reporter Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson) and her neglectful uncle Phil (Jeff Rawle). And?
Rawlins’ boob slip. Uncle Phil’s picture on an American food chain. Not that kinda food chain, stupid.
Father Anton (Corneliu Ulici). And?
He could use some grooming in the hairdo department.
Five nuns and a priest under arrest. And?
What kind of a reporter is Miss Nicole ‘Boob Slip’ Rawlins anyway?
What is she doing in the office when she should be out in the streets of Bucharest.
That sounds familiar… Oh, yeah; that is what my supervisor keeps telling me, minus the Romanian connection.
Google product placement/permission to use logos too expensive for the producers of this film.
Nicole ‘Boob Slip’ Rawlins does not believe in God. And?
Half the world doesn’t; couldn’t mean He stops running half of the blue planet. Why not?
The possessed BFF. And?
She looks like a young Nicole Kidman (Destroyer, 2018).
Yes, there was once a young Nicole Kidman. And?
Beehive crotch, very Seventies, very Lorna (The Exorcist). Enough to change the subject.
Sister Adelina Marinescu (Ada Lupu). I would piss my pajamas if she woke me in the middle of the night, but here she can only get possessed by the demon Agares. Wikipedia says the demon is described in grimoires such as the Livre des Esperitz. And?  It says the demon is a Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, pursuant to the Lesser Key of Solomon. And?
The Dictionnaire Infernal describes Agares as a duke under the power of the east. And?
He is also known also as an “old man, riding upon a crocodile, and carrying a Hawke on his fist. And?  

Hello, it's me - I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet - Adele; Hello. 
They say the song is filled with subliminal demonology symbols and the green wall is painted with all kinds of hieroglyphs, paying respect to satan himself. And? Just like Staitway to Heaven playing backwards during the first grand solo by Jimmy Page. And?  
"Here's to my sweet satan"
And? 
Fame, money and power. And?


What are the chances of my ex-wife reading this?
Zero to none.
Southeastern European boy in a pig mask. And?
Not connected to the rest of the screenplay.
Those bad guys from The Strangers, 2008 in the backseat of Nicole ‘Boob Slip’ Rawlin’s VW sedan? And?
You will question” The film’s motives? Or what? I feel kinda slow today, the mind isn’t keeping up with the morbidity of it all.

Everything you Believe” coupled with a needle being brought close to the eye. Ouch. And will they stop already? The eye being slit in half, the cover for Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou, 1929?  “The meticulous honing of the razor that will slice the open eye in two.“, says film historian Georges Sadoul.
Er. And?


Will be Lost in a Field of Tall Grass
And?
Sadly, nothing. Nothing at all. The Indian says “Nothing at all” when asked what did he die for.
Sad indeed. Xavier Gens (Budapest, 2018) did manage to stir up a storm with his film The Frontier(s), 2007 but that was about thirteen years ago. That film was severe, intrinsically evil, and above all, it is a film that penetrates the sensibilities just when you think evil has been defeated. Part of the New French Extreme horror, Frontier(s) scared plenty. Samuel Le Bihan (Le pacte des loups, 2001) is, as always, superb. I’m slowly moving away from Nicole ‘Boob Slip’ Rawlins, again. Mind over nutter.

Nevertheless and unfortunately The Crucifixion, 2017 offers absolutely nothing, it functions on a bare minimum level, a level where the claim, “based on true events” should be enough but it isn’t. It’s drawing blanks. It’s truly a shame since we have writers Chad and Carey W. Hayes working on this exorcism as well; after having been credited as writers for the Conjuring films. Who knows what happened here? Did they get lazy?

Was he slow?

Chances are that they did since this genre entry does not even manage to make its viewers uncomfortable with its Latin and Aramaic and what have you; it is a simple plain old dull film, with the hook and baits bought from the “based on true events” store. Yes, in 2004 an exorcism was performed on a holy woman, a sister at a monastery in Bucharest. Yes, it all did go wrong and resulted in Sister Adelina Marinescu’s death and the subsequent arrest of those involved in the highly charged purgation. Demon Agares simply refuses to be delivered.

The premise, the flow of the narrative the story-telling style is all very well, but the film just refuses to rise from the ‘awfully generic’ level and stays there, sitting or hanging comfortably on the cross of cliché. There is zero intrigue being forged here, instead what we get is a lengthy debate about matters, where debate is as useless as a five-dollar discount coupon at a Hot Toys outlet. They call it the Secret Base, it is based in Malaysia. Just saying.

“I’m so lonely, I could die”

Director Xavier Gens, it seems, has completely forgotten how to pace a movie. Yeah, that bad. The dreadful account of the real deal is reduced here to being flat and uninspired and the jump scares can be predicted even before the movie has a chance to startle the audience.
It’s 2020 for fuck’s sake, or even 2017 when the film was released, and the horror fan needs more than just a petit woman lifting a full-grown nun off the ground nun with just one hand. C’mon man, this isn’t Gypsy (Netflix) the dyke show with Sophie Cookson (Nicole ‘Boob Slip’ Rawlins) trying to make both negatives work. It won’t, it doesn’t, it is the law of physics and nature and it seems that Cookson is stuck in a loop of despondency and dismay for trying to go against the set laws. Laws set by Nature, not man or Darwin; the worst thing to happen to man since the Great Flood. Not many publications have managed to mislead men and women in such a persuadable manner like On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (pub 1859), where the common man starts to believe in the rantings of a man suffering from ape-dementia and a god-complex. The book can easily be compared to the Book of the Dead ( an ancient Egyptian funerary text generally written on papyrus and a source of great influence and inspiration for H. P. Lovecraft) from Evil Dead. Once you or Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), despite written warnings, read aloud an incantation and awaken a malevolent force, it can’t be undone unless an arm or two is sawed off, or a woman gives herself the Glasgow Smile with a straight razor. Or Naturom Demonto is invited to unleash some more hell to consume the present hell, which is a greater hell than what Naturom Demonto has to offer after it claims five lives.
Man, that is complicated but the brutal terror, gory scares, and gleefully bloody violence saved it from going full South, not as a film but as five young men and women secluded in a rustic cabin in the woods and a dismemberd Natalie and Mia and Olivia and David, the list goes on, you’ll see; just watch the 2013, assault on the senses, remake by Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe, 2016), which is most unrelenting and a bloody horror film that keeps building on the gorily bravura of the original from 1987.

I digress, again.

History is not kind to men who play God

– James Bond; No Time To Die (Trailer)

History is even more unkind to men who make lazy, uninventive and pedestrian films. What can I say after having said all that? Perhaps that the cast deserves better than being relegated to such an atrocity? Or writers Chad and Carey W. Hayes got lucky with the Conjuring films and went back to their origins with this one (The Reaping, 2007). Or maybe, director Xavier Gens just wasn’t ready to take on an exorcism, which went to hell and the audience didn’t even get to watch that bit.
In the end, The Crucifixion is a disastrous attempt at trying to wed the horror trend with the heated-up God exchange, invoking memories of great films like The Exorcist and The Omen but that association just emphasizes how utterly bad this damn thing is.

Here there is no redemption, none.

Not to be confused with Ruqyah The Exorcism, an Indonesian film, which was also released the same year as this abomination and is also based on true events.
What isn’t, these days?

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