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Movie Review: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

Although difficult to market an exorcism movie as fresh and new, the subject matter is usually pretty compelling. This horror genre bridges the supernatural with the realness of a slasher movie. Art imitating life lets you know, it could happen to you. Fortunately for me, only females seem to get targeted for possession by the devil (we can just put that fact in the “pro” column for being a dude).

First off, it was great to see Devon Sawa as the main character (I am a big “Idle Hands” fan). His portrayal of Father John Barrow was on point. He seemed serious and committed to his faith. His presence provided a bit of relief which is a success if you are playing a priest in an exorcism movie. The first possession scene was haunting.

Sarah Lind’s portrayal of Molly Hartley was also very solid. The way her character seemed to the give in to all the sinful behaviors was a perfect foreshadowing for what was coming next. Portraying Molly Hartley’s backstory of young overachiever turning into a sexual deviant was really well executed. The scene was topped-off nicely with her buzzkill friends not approving and going home.

The pacing of this film was very good. The film keeps your attention by staying interesting with the cult-family backstory. Gina Holden’s portrayal of Psych. Resident Doctor Hawthorne was the right degree of serious. She was beautiful without it being a distraction and it didn’t take her too long to realize what was really happening. There is nothing worse than the doctor who cannot let go of their original diagnosis in these sorts of films. Her reaction after having her papers all thrown into the air was very enjoyable.

Satan’s blaspheme banter with Father Barrow was great. There really is nothing like the black and white depiction of good and evil that this subject matter provides. This film did it in a very fair way, without being preachy one way or the other. Devon Sawa’s priest fought through self doubt, which is arguably the worst of mankind’s weaknesses.

The film extras were great at the end. The casting director did a wonderful job from top to bottom. The ending is fun and terrifying.

Overall - Must See

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