Viewers of the horror film “The Pope’s Exorcist” are advising others to only watch it during daylight hours, emphasizing its terrifying nature.
It’s not uncommon for horror films to attract such warnings. No scary movie experience is complete without a blanket to hide under, but sometimes the fear intensifies, especially when you’re alone at home. After watching, every little noise makes you jump, and you become hesitant to turn your back on the bedroom door. However, it appears that “The Pope’s Exorcist,” starring Russell Crowe, may be even too chilling to handle at night, let alone when alone.
The film is purportedly based on true stories of exorcisms conducted by the Vatican’s own exorcist. According to the movie’s synopsis, it is “inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Vatican.” Crowe portrays the Vatican’s chief exorcist, who finds himself delving into a deeper and hidden secret kept by the Vatican during an exorcism on a child. Spooky stuff indeed.
For some viewers, the warnings about the film’s terrifying nature proved to be well-founded, with many admitting to being thoroughly horrified. One viewer shared, “Watched ‘The Pope’s Exorcist,’ and mate let me tell you, it will mess with your head and give you the kind of horror feels that are not just jump scares, which is worse. I suggest watching it during daylight.” Another viewer commented, “‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ looks like the best exorcist horror film I’ve seen since the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the International Association of Exorcists, co-founded by Father Amorth himself, released a statement criticizing the film for its inaccuracies and dismissing it as a mere “splatter” film. The association found it insulting in its portrayal of the suffering experienced by those who are victims of demonic possession. The statement mentioned, “The end result is to instill the belief that exorcism is an abnormal, monstrous, and fearful phenomenon, whose only protagonist is the devil, whose violent reactions are faced with great difficulty. This is the exact opposite of what occurs with exorcisms celebrated in the Catholic Church.”
Given the exaggerations often employed for dramatic effect, it’s hardly surprising that the film didn’t receive praise from actual exorcists, who claim to have dealt with real cases of demonic possession. Excuse me while I go purchase another lock for the front door and a night light.
“The Pope’s Exorcist” is now available for streaming on Amazon Video and Apple TV. Watch the trailer below: