Discover more from Horror Bulletin
Five Nights at Freddy's, Exorcist: Believer, The Hive, Bloodthirst, Beyond the Gates of Hell, The Wheel of Heaven, and It’s Alive!
Horror Bulletin Weekly Newsletter #252
We've got an extra-big episode for you this week, with SIX full-length films, all brand new from this year. We'll take a look at "Five Nights at Freddy's," "Exorcist: Believer," "The Hive," "Bloodthirst," "Beyond the Gates of Hell," and "The Wheel of Heaven."
In addition, exclusive to our weekly email newsletter, we also reviewed "It's Alive" from 1974.
Thanks for reading Horror Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Check out all our books with one easy link: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys
Here. We. Go!
Five Nights at Freddy's (2023)
Directed by Emma Tammi
Written by Scott Cawthon, Seth Cuddeback, Emma Tammi
Stars Josh Hutcherson, Piper Rubio, Elizabeth Lail
Run Time: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
The long-awaited adaptation of a video game was a disappointment to the Horror Guys. The premise is interesting, and the practical effects were very cool. But there weren't many surprises and too much talk and drama. It's decent but doesn't live up to the hype.
We watch a security guard frantically trying to open a ventilation tunnel. He crawls in as something bangs on the door behind him. Something's coming up behind him, and it's... singing. He soon finds himself strapped into a chair with a whirling, saw-bladed, mask-looking thing coming down over his face. Credits roll.
Mike and his little sister Abby get up and get ready for their day. Mike's a security guard at a mall, but he's really awful at it and gets fired. According to Steve, his career counselor, he's not very good at anything. Steve does have a "high turnover" security job for Mike at night, but Mike turns it down.
Mike dreams of his childhood, when his little brother, Garrett, was abducted. Mike's Aunt Jane wants custody of Abby, and she contests his custody in the courts. She's... not nice. Mike calls Steve back and accepts the job. The job is a security guard at a former kid's place, "Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria," that's been closed for a long time. All Mike has to do is keep people out.
There's a videotape that explains the history of the place. It's a family-friendly, fun place with cutting-edge animatronic creatures. He sleeps at a desk through most of the night and then goes home.
Max, who watches Abby at night, actually works for Aunt Jane, who hired her to dig up dirt on Mike. They come up with a plan to break into Freddy's, mess it up, and Mike will be fired.
That night, Abby wants to go with Mike, who doesn't allow it. Mike dreams about Garrett again, but this time, other children appear in the dream. When he wakes up, the electronics are going crazy in the place. Vanessa is a cop and stops by to see if everything is OK.
Vanessa says that this place gets to people, and they never last in the job. She turns on the animatronic creatures for him, and they're really... something. She also mentions that back in the 80s, a bunch of kids went missing, which is why the place shut down. In the morning, they both leave.
As the sun comes up and Mike leaves, Max's boyfriend, Jeff, and his buddies, Hank and Carl, break in and start to wreck the place. Carl finds an animatronic creature where it shouldn't be, and it kills him. Another one gets Hank. Jeff watches the glowing-eyed murder machines on the security cameras, but they know where he is, too. Max eventually shows up, and a strange child leads her deep inside the building. One of the machines bites her head off.
Vanessa comes to see Mike at home, explaining that somebody broke into Freddy's. She finds his sleeping pills and thinks he may have been too messed up to lock the door. He tells her all about Garrett and his dreams.
That night, Mike tries repeatedly to get in touch with Max about babysitting Abby, and he ends up taking her with him to Freddy's for the night. As always, Mike passes out from the sleeping pills, so Abby goes exploring. Mike wakes up and finds Abby being tickled by Freddy and his robotic friends. She thinks they're nice and introduces them to Mike. "They just wanna play." She hugs them before leaving. Mike thinks this is all weird, and then they go home.
Mike notices that Abby's drawings for the past several weeks have been of the animatronic creatures-- which have been appearing to her as her imaginary friends, except that she had never seen the animatronics until last night. She tells him that the robots are possessed by ghosts.
The next night, Mike and Abby go back to Freddy's, and Vanessa is there too. She knows all about the ghost-possessed robots. Everyone, including the robots, built a "fort" out of tables; it all looks like fun. Vanessa seems to know more about this place than she should. Mike thinks the robots are possessed by the ghosts of the dead children killed by the same man who took Garrett. Vanessa's obviously hiding something, and she tells him never to bring Abby back to that place.
The following day, Aunt Jane is there, and that goes badly for Abby. Mike goes back to Freddy's in the daytime and takes his sleeping pills. The little ghost boy in his dream explains that Mike can go back and save Garrett-- if they can have Abby. When he agrees, all the little ghost children attack him with knives. When Mike wakes up, he's strapped to the chair we saw in the opening credits, with the machine coming at his face; he barely escapes. He then finds the bodies of Max, Jeff, and the others.
Back at home, Jane is babysitting Abby, and we see that Freddy is there, as well as his "ghost boy." He tells Abby that Jane "fell asleep." They take an Uber to the pizzeria.
Vanessa has patched up the wounded Mike. Vanessa admits that she knew about Max and the others. She says that they never found any of the missing children back in the 80s. Their corpses are inside those machines as well as their ghosts. The bad man knows that Mike is looking for him, and "He'll be coming. His name is William Afton, and he's my father." Vanessa gives him an electric cattle prod, which will mess with the ghosts' animatronics.
Back at Freddy's, Mike arrives to find Abby already there. One of the robots takes Abby to an "open" animatronic body and tries to put her inside, but Mike Tases it.
Mike runs into a big, nasty rabbit that we haven't seen before; it's clearly the leader. The rabbit admits he killed Garrett all those years ago, and now he wants Abby, too. Vanessa comes in with her gun, and he takes his head off-- it's Steve, the employment agency guy, who is also Afton, Vanessa's father and founder of the pizzeria. She shoots him, but the suit protects him. He stabs Vanessa.
Abby draws a new picture and posts it on the wall with other drawings. "What have you done?" asks the bad man. The other animatronics see the drawing and turn against the yellow rabbit. "They can see you now; they know what you did," she tells him.
The robots are not happy, and they attack Afton. Mike and Abby drag Vanessa outside.
Mike and Abby are doing much better, but Vanessa's in a coma in the hospital.
Back at Freddy's, we see the ghost boy lock Afton inside a storeroom… Forever?
This was based on a popular video game that I have no experience with at all, but I did see "Willy's Wonderland" (2021), which has nearly the same premise. Also very similar was "The Banana Splits Movie" (2019).
Mike really is a terrible security guard. He spends all night sleeping with sleeping pills and headphones on. He's pretty useless as an adult, as well. Jane is nasty, but he's a terrible "parent" for Abby. Other than wanting to save Abby, he has no real redeeming qualities. He sort of comes around in the end, but he's still kind of a sad sack.
It's awfully long, and nothing much really happens until 45 minutes in. There's far too much drama with Mike and his backstory and not nearly enough of the good stuff. The creatures are not CGI; they're actual puppets and physical props.
This may be the most-hyped, heavily advertised horror film this year. To be completely blunt, "Willy's Wonderland" did it better.
The Hive (2023)
Directed by Jared Allmond
Written by Jarod Allmond
Stars Timothy Haug, Christie Griffin, Blake Eli
Run Time: 1 Hour, 26 minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This starts out a little slow and confusing, but things gradually become clearer. Is it just a home invasion thriller? No, not quite that simple. It moves briskly and it's worth the wait. The production values and acting are decent. It's a thumbs-up overall.
Credits roll as Penny gets dressed up to go out while Albie works on the computer. She comes out looking stunning, but he doesn't even look up from the book he's writing. They argue about things, but eventually, they leave for the show. Albie is judgmental about Mark, the neighbor, not painting his house when Albie's own house needs a lot of work. She complains that he's not a "real man." Mark is a creepy old man, and Albie's an ass.
They eventually go to the show and return home with plans for a night without the kids. [At this point, I'm hoping Albie dies quickly, but I don't think that's actually likely]. They have a flat tire on the way home, but he doesn't know how to change the tire, so Penny does it in five minutes.
They get home, both unhappy, and immediately notice that someone is in their house. A strange man opens the door, and a strange woman is in there too. "These folks seem a bit confused," says the man. They run outside to Mark, who runs away from them. Albie calls the police, but the police call the man inside, who says everything is fine. The police won't come. The man pulls out a gun and his own badge and runs them off.
Penny wants to go see a neighbor who might help, but Albie doesn't like the neighbor. Kimmy lets them in, and she's Penny's sister. It's 11 o'clock, and everyone makes a big deal about how late it is. Kimmy is weird and refuses to let them stay the night.
On the way back home, Penny and Albie argue about what to do next. When Albie picks up an ax, Penny freaks out that he would have a weapon. "You're not taking that in there." Really? He drops it, and they go inside. The strange man and woman walk around with jerky movements, like robots or something, and they knock out Albie and Penny with no effort.
Penny wakes up in the basement, all tied up. The strange woman is there and she says they are looking for something. "Does the male have access to the collective intelligence?" Penny thinks they think that she's a spy, but that's not it. The vague and off-camera torture begins. A similar scene unfolds upstairs with the two men, where the man tells Albie, "We don't even exist." After a while, the two strangers trade partners. They still want to know how the young couple access the collective intelligence.
Eventually, Penny manages to untie herself but gets a good cut in the process. Albie gives up and tells the woman where the device is hidden; he says it's in their air conditioner unit. When she goes out to check, he gets loose and frees Penny. Albie knocks out the strange man, but Penny wants to leave immediately. They actually take time to argue about it while the woman is still outside. Penny wants a divorce, "you are a pathetic human being."
Albie drags the strange man outside and kills him with the ax. The strange woman is right there, smiling through it all. Then she runs away. Albie buries the body in the backyard as Penny looks on, stunned.
Penny notices Kimmy, Mark, and the strange woman outside staring at the house. They all come inside, and it's clear they are all "in on it" together. Outside, the dead man reaches up from his shallow grave. He comes inside, and Albie is surprised, to say the least.
Then the man peels his skin off, and we see that he's a big blue alien inside. He takes his eyeballs out, and we get to see the "real" man inside. He gloats that it takes more than that to kill him. They explain that the police and half the neighborhood have been replaced by aliens. They still need to know how to access the collective intelligence. The blue one leads Albie outside, where Albie escapes.
Albie runs to the park, where he finds the bones of all his neighbors. The aliens surround him and probe his mind for information about the hive. When he says there is no hive, they don't believe him. They close in around him...
Penny's tied up in the bedroom, and she's relieved to see Albie come inside. Except he's one of them now. "Relax, it's all under control..."
The following day, grandma brings Albie and Penny's kids home. Mark waves at them as they pass. Penny and Albie seem very happy to see them, all smiles now.
Wow, this is certainly a Los Angeles film. They have chickens in the backyard and are totally inept at everything they do. Both the main characters act like they've never seen a weapon before.
I'm not sure what the point of making Albie such an unlikable ass from the very first scene was all about. Penny seems fine, but there's something clearly not right with him. As the film progresses, that doesn't really change much.
The music is good, the camerawork is well-done as well. The acting is fine. Some of the characters spoke in weird, robotic ways, but that's explained at the end. The only problem is that the main character is so completely unlikable.
Directed by Michael Su
Written by Massimiliano Cerchi, Adrian Milnes
Stars Costas Mandylor, Tara Reid, Robert LasSardo, Bishop Stevens
Run Time: 1 Hour, 28 minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
This was an ambitious project with a large cast. The world it's set in is interesting, with a script that moves well. The effects were on the minimal side and effectively used. Our only real criticism was the modulation and sound mix used on some of the vampire voices sometimes made them difficult to understand. Overall, it was entertaining and certainly worth a watch.
We are told that two vampire factions have taken over the world, and they've warred to the point of extinction. As credits roll, we watch a pair of farmers attacked by a pack of vampires led by the Vampire Master. They drink the woman but turn the man. A couple of farmhands hide inside the barn and witness the whole thing-- they don't live long either.
A while later, a man in a cowboy hat and a gas mask arrives at the farm and finds the farmer's wife dead. Charlie sneaks in and says the dead woman is his mother, and he's been hiding. The stranger is John Shepard. They team up and hit the road.
The vampire gang comes upon a house full of hiding people, and the Vampire Master finds them all. One woman tries to use a cross, but the Master breaks it in half.
John and Charlie run into an old woman who has killed a few vampires. She gives John a crucifix. Which is odd, considering we just saw one of those not work at all.
The Vampire Queen walks through town with her entourage, and she demands that they respect her. They run into the Master and his group. Together, they feast on the humans caught earlier.
A nosferatu-looking guy runs the other vampire faction. There's a battle that's been brewing for centuries, and all sides are recruiting.
Charlie and John pick up Rico, a guy on the road. A couple of women shoot the farmer vampire with a garlic-filled shotgun shell, which puts him down. All five of them meet up and go see "Daddy" about where to find the Master. Fico and one of the girls run into a trio of vampires, but the garlic shells don't do anything against them.
That night, the dead farmer wakes up and kills Daddy. Those garlic shells really don't do the trick. John shoots him in the heart with a crossbow, and as the farmer dies, the Master feels it.
In the morning, the group goes up into the mountains and talks to some paramilitary guys. One of them wants Rico's bike. They're local bullies and troublemakers, and the two girls regularly pay them off in fuel. Their leader is Toque, and John wants their help in tracking down the Master.
Torque soon finds the Master, but he makes a deal with him to turn over John and the vampire hunters instead of following his agreement. John smells a rat and warns his friends about what's coming.
Torque doesn't wait. He takes John and the other prisoner and hands them over to the Master. The Master then sets his vampire army against all of Torque's men.
In the dungeon, Charlie uses his knife to kill the guard, and all the vampire hunters get out. There's a short battle as John shoots the Master several times with his crossbow. John pulls out the cross that the old woman gave him earlier, and this time, it works.
The baddies are all dead, and only Rico has been bitten. What's next for the group?
Elsewhere, the Nosferatu vampire senses his opponent, the Master, has been killed. Now, there will be no big battle. He laughs. "The world is ours!"
The voice modulation on some of the vampires makes them very hard to understand, especially a few who have foreign accents. The Queen and one other female vampire especially-- we sometimes had to piece together what they said.
It's low budget with decent special effects. The cast is quite large, and the overall acting is good for a film of this type. The story and world are also interesting.
A lot was made of the vampire factions, but one side was a Nosferatu-type character who was pretty hands-off, which paid off for him in the end. But the final shot says, "Coming soon, Bloodthirst 2," so getting him might be the plan for next time.
Beyond the Gates of Hell (2022)
Directed by Dustin Ferguson
Written by Dustin Ferguson
Stars Traci Burr, Eric Larsen, Brinke Stevens
Run Time: 55 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It's made in an old grindhouse movie style, including previews of coming attractions. The grainy effect enhances the mood and smooths over some of the imperfections. It's clearly a low-budget indie, but it's a thumbs-up overall. We enjoyed it.
Coming Attractions: We watch some guys in hazmat suits unleash a horde of zombie skeletons upon the world. It's a trailer for a new zombie film, and it looks both awesome and garbage at the same time: "Zombie Blastfighter." This is followed by a trailer for a new demon possession film, "Don't Eat My Flesh!" [We assume these are setting the "grindhouse" mood for the main show, not real upcoming films, but there’s no reason they couldn’t make them.].
A woman wakes up and looks for Paul in the dark. She doesn't find him, but she finds... something. Credits roll.
Sheryl leads Katrina and Ian through their house before handing over the keys. This is one of the few houses in the area with a basement. Sheryl warns them about the history of the place; Ian knew about it, but Katrina didn't. Back in '81, a couple lived there, and some local people burned him alive in the basement, thinking he was a Satanist. Then, just one year ago, a girl was killed here. Some of the locals swear that this place was built right on top of the gates of Hell. Sheryl offers them a big profit to sell to her so she can demolish the place. They decide to stay. Katrina asks about all the headstones out in the backyard, which is weird.
Ian takes a shower, but it doesn't work; the water hasn't been turned on. A strange woman enters the bathroom, saying she's Jennifer, the housekeeper. Awkward! Heather, Katrina's daughter, stops by and wanders down to the basement. Something gets her.
Ian tells Katrina about weird Jennifer, and they decide to keep her on for cleaning. They assume she must have come with the house but do wonder how she's getting paid. Katrina says she wants to get a priest over to bless the house; Ian rolls his eyes and agrees to it. During the night, Katrina finds Heather's phone downstairs.
We cut to a mysterious woman in black who wanders around with her cane. She comes to Katrina's door and introduces herself as Henrietta, a neighbor, and she wants to come in. Henrietta declares that this house is cursed since it sits on one of the seven gates of hell. When Katrina's phone rings, Henrietta suddenly vanishes.
Katrina researches the house online. She calls Father Tom to come to bless the house. The house, or something inside it, growls at Tom. Tom falls down and gets up with red, glowing eyes. He goes home and kills himself.
Sheryl makes a face. "Someone's gotta end this curse!" She drives over to the house, takes a gas can out of the car, and pours it out. She somehow manages to set herself on fire instead of the house. Ian and Katrina hear a scream, but he says, "It's probably just the house settling."
The plumber arrives to turn the water on. A monster pops his eyes out. Night falls, and a bunch of zombies rise up out of the backyard graves. Ian and Katrina see them clawing at the windows, and he says, "We'll be safe in the basement!"
Crazy Jennifer and the monster are down there waiting for them. Soon, they both have glowing red eyes. Elsewhere, Henrietta laughs in the dark.
The DVD cover mentions Lucio Fulci, so Kevin predicted, "Someone's gonna lose an eye." He nailed it!
It's all done in a 70's grainy, grindhouse style. That choice and the "coming attractions" at the beginning work really well. It's obviously low budget, but instead of trying to be something else, they've leaned into it and made the grittiness a feature. Some of the dialogue and acting is good, while others are not so much. Still, if you miss old drive-in films, this will bring you right back there. The soundtrack is also perfect for this kind of film, very "70s."
I liked it!
The Wheel of Heaven (2023)
Directed by Joe Badon
Written by Joe Badon, Jason Kruppa
Stars Kali Russell, Vincent Stalba, Jeff Pearson
Run Time: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
There is a vague thread of an overall story; the trick is untangling it as you watch. It's a movie with episodes of television shows and commercials inside it, done in layers, with behind-the-scenes and outtake footage mixed in. If that sounds confusing, it is, but it's funny and weird and delightful with some horror elements.
We open with a title talking about a miniseries, and then we go straight into an interview, something like what you'd get in a DVD special feature. The director explains the whole thing; it's like binging an old TV show with ads and such - he mentions inspiration from "Kentucky Fried Movie." Eventually, we get to the start of the story.
We watch the destruction of the age of dinosaurs; it's all very realistic and believable-- no, it's puppets and stop-motion. We then cut to "The Blood of the Dinosaurs," a prologue to the story that we've previously reviewed as a standalone short. It's still weird.
We then cut to "The Jason Johnson Experiment," a three-minute show on late-night public access TV. He gives birth, and then it's over.
We next begin with the director describing how the film should start, as the film starts. Margaret Corn introduces herself as an artist. She shows us some pretty awful drawings and cut-out paper dioramas, but she is passionate about them. She talks about one that looks like a spaceship, and we cut to a Star-Trek-like bridge. Captain Corn is being attacked by Dr. Universe, who threatens her with, um, threats. She gives an overdramatic speech until her grandmother phones. This results in a song.
We cut to a store where a woman, also played by the same actress as the Corns, buys a choose-your-own-adventure book for 1 cent. This takes us back to the studio, where we get a script being table read by the cast before the filming started. And then-- credits roll.
Episode 1: The Reflection in the Mirror. We open in a black-and-white world. A woman's car breaks down and she sees a full-color Santa Claus out her window. We "zoom out" to see that this is just Marge, reading that adventure book from earlier and imagining herself there. We return to the adventure story, where Marge runs from a strange person in a raincoat. That's all for chapter 1.
We then get a commercial from a "Skateboard Attorney."
The weirdness continues for almost another hour as various things we've seen before start to tie together, but I don't want to spoil it all.
Ah, Public Access TV. It was generally stupid and terrible, but I miss it now after seeing this.
Horror note: I spotted numerous tiny clips from the silent movie "Vampyr" (1932) embedded inside.
It's several off-the-wall short films that are slightly interconnected. It hops around a lot, and there's a ridiculous amount of silly bits, parodies, and outright nonsense. It's all ridiculous, and fast-paced, and a lot of fun. There wasn't really a clear story involved other than the vague choose-your-own-adventure book. There are even segments where the actors say they didn't understand the ending or even what the film is about.
If you like weird, non sequitur, random silliness that's really well done, this one's for you! How do I order that CD for the "Best of Elvis Breastly"?
Exorcist: Believer (2023)
Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Peter Sattler, David Gordon Green, Scott Teems
Stars Leslie Odom Jr., Ellen Burstyn,
Run Time: 1 Hour, 51 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This was okay in most ways. The cast and direction are skillful. The special effects were impressive. It's just that the first Exorcist movie was original and shocking. This just seemed like a modern upgrade of more of the same, with two girls this time instead of one. There weren't really surprises or anything new.
We begin in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, where Sorenne shops at the market. After that, she goes to a spiritual healer who blesses her baby; she's very pregnant. Victor is there; he's her husband. He doesn't believe in the locals' blessings. Suddenly, there's a massive earthquake, and Sorenne's hotel collapses on her. Victor takes her to a doctor, but she's badly hurt. The doctor can save either her or the baby, and it's up to Victor to choose...
We cut to Percy, Georgia, sometime later. Angela digs through her dead mother's photos as her father, Victor, gets her ready for school. Ann, the naggy neighbor lady, yells at Victor for leaving the trash on the curb. Victor goes to the gym and then to work, taking family photos. After school, Angela and her friend, Catherine, go into the woods to do a ritual to talk to spirits.
When Victor gets home late, Angela's not there. Victor gets together with Catherine's parents to search the woods. Victor finds a shoe. The police check the surveillance cameras and follow them as far as they can, but they don't know more than that. There's a homeless encampment nearby, but that doesn't come to anything either.
Victor goes home after a long day of searching and finds that Stuart, a friend, has invited Dr. Beehibe, some spiritualist, to bless the house again. Victor throws everyone out.
Elsewhere, a farmer and his son deal with a sick cow, and the farmer's son finds the two girls in his barn. At the hospital, Angela thinks she's been gone for a few hours. It's been three days. She doesn't remember anything, but her feet are all messed up; same with Catherine. They do a bunch of tests, and neither girl shows any evidence of any assault. We start seeing some weird stuff around Angela.
In the morning, Angela has wet the bed, which isn't normal for her. Angela attacks Victor and then goes into a seizure. Her fingers and toenails are all torn up, which no one can explain.
Catherina and her family go to church like they always do, and Catherine isn't looking super healthy either. When Communion time rolls around, Catherine has snuck out. During the rest of the sermon, Catherine comes back in, and she's... not right.
Catherine's mother thinks demons possess the girls, but she sounds like a crazy woman, so Victor is skeptical. Ann, the neighbor who is also a nurse, tells Victor about a woman who wrote a book about a very similar experience: Chris MacNeil, from the original "Exorcist" (1973) film. Victor says he's going to check Angela into a mental institution. Ann is convincing, so he looks at the book and checks out Chris MacNeill on YouTube. Over the decades, she's become an expert on possession and exorcisms.
Victor goes to see Chris. Regan and she fought over the book, and they don't speak any more. They both go back to Angela's hospital, where they meet up with Ann and Father Maddox, a local priest. They go over to Catherine's house, and the place is a mess. Catherine asks if Chris is looking for Regan. After a bit of arguing, Catherine stabs Chris's eyes out with a cross.
Father Maddox goes to the church leaders and asks to do an exorcism. Victor talks to Dr. Beehibe, who explains the traditional ways of dealing with problems. They set up a pair of chairs in Victor's living room with symbols and everything at the ready. Father Maddox reports that the church said no to the exorcism, but he gives them some pointers.
The parents and their preachers argue, so Ann takes charge of the situation. Both girls are hooked to medical monitors and the various people start the exorcism. Catherine says, "You're all going to die!" There is much screaming and freakiness. The evil kids get personal with Victor's history. It's all looking very bleak.
...Until Father Maddox comes in, disobeying his orders and helping anyway. He does the exorcism, and the demon-possessed girls start wailing. That doesn't go on for very long before the priest's head turns all the way around. Priest heads aren't meant to do that, so he dies on the spot.
Things get out of hand very quickly after that as both girls levitate around the room. Both girls fall down, dead. Angela wakes up again, but Catherine doesn't.
The police and paramedics come and question everybody.
Eventually, Angela gets better and goes back to school. It'll all be fine now, right? We cut back to the hospital, where Chris MacNeill is still recovering. Regan comes in for a visit. Maybe they'll forgive each other now.
It's a modern continuation of the original classic demon-possession film. It's well-acted and well-written. It takes many of the tropes and brings them back in new ways. Still, the first film was shocking and original. This is "more of the same." There's nothing here that shocked me. This time, there are two of them, but that doesn't add much.
The music is sort of reminiscent of the theme from the original, but it's different enough that it's not nearly as effective. The special effects are perfectly fine.
This time, they make it clear that the devil isn't only afraid of Catholic priests; most every culture has some exorcism ritual, and they all can work. Or at least that was the point it was making until the Catholic priest came in at the last minute to save the day. OK, that still didn't happen, but you can tell they lost the message somewhere.
It was fine.
Stay tuned for more regular and bonus reviews next week!
Book Store: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys
Subscribe by email: http://horrorbulletin.substack.com
Thanks for reading Horror Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.