I am a huge fan of the horror films “THE EXORCIST” and “THE LAST EXORCISM.” Most people that have grown up Catholic can probably appreciate those films and now I had the opportunity to watch “THE EXORCIST IN THE 21ST CENTURY, a documentary about Father José Antonio Fortea, an exorcist that travels the globe to discuss and sometimes cure demonic possession.
Constanza is a woman that believes that she is possessed by demons. Her and her hubby recall a life of going to dance clubs and not being at peace with their God and that has allowed some evil demon to make it into her body. She notes that she was heavily medicated prior to the determination that it was invisible bad guys that have found their way into her. At one point, during an interview, she starts rambling gibberish or “speaking in tongues” at the people in the room and then collapses, but not before looking down to find a soft place to fall. It was obvious that this woman was not right and seeking attention with this stuff, but she convinced her hubby and eventually gets her much needed exorcism.
The Catholic Church did open their doors to this documentary and there are opinions from various priests about the practice of exorcism, but those that do defended it and were quite convinced that the devil, and sometimes Hitler, are possessing people. That really sucks. Right when we thought we were rid of Hitler, he returns in demon form.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this, but I couldn’t get over just how odd it was from top to bottom. Fortea laughingly dismisses science and technology at one point and then talks about how the lord killed his father to spare him from watching his son stray away from the family business. I couldn’t figure out who was screwed up more, Constanza or Father José Antonio Fortea.
As Fortea walks the streets in a white gown, the people mob him and he is happy to bask in the fame, blessing people here and blessing people there. He plays to a packed house and many of those going fall to the ground and quake as they shake the evil from their bodies. The proper amount of shake gets them out, apparently.
Constanza continues to go through religious treatments and is happy with the progress, but it certainly looked like a woman desperately looking for attention. All of the impressive things that you hear about during exorcisms were not present here. They show the entire exorcism in the bonus features and Constanza will scream and bounce around, but she doesn’t have that superhuman strength and she only speaks gibberish. This demon that has possessed her is rather lame.
After watching The Exorcist in the 21st Century, I came away with an odd feeling. I just found is so odd that this really exists in this world. I’m not talking about demons…just this practice and the good versus evil fight that these people partake in. Father José Antonio Fortea seems to really enjoy his status as a religious celebrity and he is not living a bad life. You just have to walk away wondering how many people are hurt by this when there is plenty of help for them. The horned boogie man is a lot more appealing to some rather than some psychological problem that can be helped with medication or perhaps the counsel of a psychologist.
The Exorcist in the 21st Century is shot incredibly well. It’s a beautiful looking film and the locations that you are taken to are amazing. If you are or were Catholic, you will have some interest in this film. You are brought right into the game of exorcism and the road that these men take. I recommend it.
Rating: 6/10 …thank God I’m an atheist