Exorcism movies seem to be a dime a dozen, and it has been this way ever since The Exorcist came onto the scene and made it impossible to make one without comparisons to the best of them all. Since that time, there have been some classics (Poltergeist) and some really, really bad ones as well (The Devil Inside).
With the most recent addition to the genre being the very good It Follows, there is no better time to talk about demonic possession movies.
With some of the more traditional choices being movies like Paranormal Activity, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Beetlejuice and the underrated The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the staff of Renegade Cinema talks about some of our personal favorite exorcism movies of all time.
This is the End
Derek Johns: Sure, the possession of Jonah Hill plays a relatively small part to the overall plot but This Is the End is so delightfully meta, I couldn’t resist picking it. As a matter of fact, watching the nasally voiced Jay Baruchel trying to perform an exorcism on the understandably unimpressed Evil Jonah was actually one of the funniest scenes of the whole movie.
Sandi Davis: 2013’s vanity project, This Is the End, takes everything that can be taken over the top and launches it from a catapult. Friends and co-stars James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and anyone else who could be coaxed onto the set play themselves at a housewarming at Franco’s house. It’s all sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll until God decides it’s time for The Rapture. No one is raptured from the party, and at first none of them have much of a clue what’s happening, until a Bible is produced.
What follows is the adventures of the characters as they try to find some safe place. Some are killed (Beautiful job, Emma Watson), a few do get up close and personal with demons and most are killed in some sickly hilarious ways. One of my favorite scenes is the demonic possession of Hill. We see it in silhouette, which is just as well. Anywhere this film can stretch the boundaries of an “R” rating, it does. This is low-down, filthy comedy with a strangely happy ending and I dare you not to laugh even as you are totally offended.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Bethany Lewis: I’m going with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. It’s a kind of unnecessary movie prequel to the series, but just as kooky, over the top, and fun. In case you don’t know, a demonic spirit named Bob possesses people and makes them do terrible things, including the murder of Laura Palmer. This movie is just the lead up to that murder and Dale Cooper’s arrival in Twin Peaks. Plus, David Bowie has a short cameo as Dale Cooper’s ill fated fellow FBI agent who spontaneously combusts after going insane – and that’s just the beginning.
The Evil Dead
Shawn S. Lealos: I love the inclusion of This is the End, and might have chosen that if I had thought of it sooner. I also would have loved to added The Exorcist, because it is the quintessential exorcism movie. Or Poltergeist. Honestly, there are a lot of fun choices, but these are out favorite movies, and it is boring to just list the same old movies that every other site on the Internet talks about. In my senior capstone class in film studies, I did a full commentary track for The Evil Dead, where I talked about how Sam Raimi achieved the effects that he did, all without computer aid. It was amazing to me, and really drove me to want to make films. Honestly, everyone talks about Evil Dead II being one of the best horror movies of all time, and maybe it is, but the first Evil Dead has a charm that will always win me over. It is possibly my favorite horror movie of all time.