Exorcising Fear: The Vatican Tapes

vatican tapes one
Photo Credit – The Vatican Tapes

I have a self-imposed challenge as an avid horror viewer:  I must find an exorcism movie that truly terrifies me.  Huddled with a group of giggling 12-year-olds when I was in seventh grade, I watched in near-disbelief while Regan spewed unthinkable profanity and did immodest things with a crucifix in The Exorcist.  Assuredly, I was not old enough to watch the movie without being flung into a shock-provoked state of uncomfortable laughing fits (a twelve year old is hardly mature enough to take those scenes seriously), but something about that reaction seems significant when I reflect upon exorcism films almost 20 years later:  Namely, the film was shocking, unorthodox, compelling – and indisputably ground-breaking for the era – but The Exorcist, along with, I think, every other exorcism film I’ve ever watched, has never really scared me.  I find them interesting, and essential from the standpoint of someone who makes it a (humble, wage-less) second-living to know and review horror fare (albeit for a small number of readers), but for some reason I’ve always found ghosts a lot scarier.  Don’t get me wrong: conceptually, the devil is terrifying (to the extent that I believe he exists, at least), but films rarely do justice to the horror of the demonic.  The Vatican Tapes, a fairly average film, was no exception to this trend.  If you like exorcism movies, it may be worth seeing, at least for comparative purposes.  But, there was a small, hopeful part of me thought I might feel afraid during The Vatican Tapes.  As it turns out, I did not.  Read my discussion below (which, admittedly, has some spoilers) to find out why.

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Exorcising Fear: The Vatican Tapes