Written by Ellary Eddy
Directed by Ethan Wiley
Starring Cameron Daddo, Kristin Erickson, Randy Colton, and Jeffrey Combs (briefly)
- Running audio commentary by director Wiley and actor Daddo
- Featuerette: “Making of Blackwater Valley Exorcism“
Released by: Lionsgate.
My Advice: Get Behind Me, Satan.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. Young virginal girl gets possessed by a demon and gets all violent and slutty. Medical science failed so the family turns to a priest with lots of self doubt. Lots of Latin is spoken and God is invoked a lot while the girl says nasty things to everybody. I could fill in the details, but…really, why bother?
[ad#longpost]What is it with people’s obsession with young white girls? Seriously, if a young girl (preferably blonde) goes missing, the news networks stop in their tracks and go into an orgy of speculated horror. America engages in doublethink when we get disgusted by the antics of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, yet we devour all the coverage. There are even purity balls where fathers swear to protect their daughters from the sin of choosing when she can pop her cherry. People get all worked up about a girl’s sanctity, but never seem to worry about their mental or emotional well being. You can see this in the modern depiction of exorcism. A girl talks in a different language and slaps some people around and Lucifer must be involved. She couldn’t just be gifted linguistically and enjoy a bit of the old ultra-violence. And if she pleasures herself with a crucifix, this is somehow a sign of demonic possession. She could just be broadening her sexual horizons. Newsflash, folks: girls are just as dirty and fucked up as guys.
I was thinking about all this because it gave me something to do while enduring this, because frankly, this movie was a waste of time. The dialogue especially was abysmal. When the priest is preparing everyone for the big exorcism, he says “Let’s do this.” Come on, you’re about to confront a demon from Hell, can’t you come up with something a bit more inspiring? A priest who doesn’t have an appropriate psalm to rally the troops isn’t worth his collar. Speaking of the inadequate priest, Father Jacob, he is portrayed so weakly that the demon should have been able to slap him around like the proverbial fly. I couldn’t believe that he was wrestling with self doubt or battling with the devil in residence.
In fact, most of the cast can’t seem to get a handle on the poorly written script. When you are in a duel with the physical representation of Evil, you need to have some fire in your belly and not come off as lukewarm. Even the possession was lackluster, a cheap knock off of the Linda Blair performance with minimal makeup. No split pea soup, no 360-degree head roll, nothing remotely interesting. But this isn’t the greatest of the film’s sins. When you look at the cast list, Needcoffee fave Jeffrey Combs is prominently listed. However, he is only in the film for about five minutes. Even worse, his character is completely superfluous to the plot. What a waste.
There is a behind the scenes featurette and a commentary included in this disc. The featurette is more candid shots of the production intercut with comments from the cast and crew and some Catholic bishop talking about exorcism. This bishop supposedly advised the production on exorcism, but how seriously can you take a priest that has a ponytail. The commentary isn’t much either; Daddo is one of those actors who shouldn’t talk without a script. And considering his performance, that’s saying something. Blackwater Valley Exorcism manages to make a major supernatural event and the only hell it manages to raise is to be boring as hell. Avoid it.