Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Film Reivew: Asmodexia (2014)

Asmodexia (Review)
Spain/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"The story is incoherent and bland, and there is a severe lack of horror."

Eloy (Lluís Marco) and his granddaughter, Alba (Clàudia Pons), perform exorcisms across Barcelona days before the resurrection...

Asmodexia follows Eloy and Alba as they perform said exorcisms. In Barcelona and across the world, possession and madness seem to be running rampant, so the pair work their magic. Meanwhile, hells breaks loose in a psychiatric ward, which houses one of Eloy's acquaintances. Not much really happens throughout the story, really. Eloy and Alba walk around and talk between their exorcisms, while the plot constantly alludes to the imminent resurrection — it hardly explains any of it. Anyway, it leads to an interesting climax with a decent revelation. The ending was okay.

Asmodexia has an interesting concept with flawed execution. This is a story that clearly wants to be more than just another possession film — and it is. Unfortunately, it is riddled with issues. Firstly, the story is incoherent. It continuously flashes to the past and alludes to future events, but with mere bits and pieces of information. This sloppy and inefficient storytelling leaves the audience unengaged and confused. I was ingesting the information, but I was genuinely lost more than a handful of times. This sloppy storytelling is worsened by the uneventful and bland plot. Most of the film follows Eloy and Alba as they talk and walk. There are two (maybe three?) exorcisms in the film, and they are boring.

That's this film's worst flaw: it's boring. It says a lot when you have a night of your best sleep, but still feel yourself dozing off while watching a film. Really, I yawned countless times and even contemplated fast-forwarding through some scenes — something I never do. It's just so bland and boring, I can't even remember how many exorcisms were in the film — and I just watched it 15 minutes ago! (from the time of writing, not posting.) Asmodexia certainly fails to make an impression. Also, the film is a mere 80 minutes long, but it feels more like two hours. The ending is a bit of a saving grace, but it can't redeem the other severe flaws. A solid finale can't make the first hour any less boring. Some of its issues could have been remedied by some quality horror, but that's nearly nonexistent as well. There is little suspense, there are no jump-scares, and the exorcisms are lackluster.

The acting is okay. Lluís Marco and Clàudia Pons work well together. Some of the supporting cast is lacking, but it's mostly decent. The film is shot well. At the very least, I remember a few decent scenes thanks to the cinematography. The music matches the tone, but it really lacks personality and energy — part of the reason I had trouble staying awake. There are some decent special effects and the makeup wasn't all that bad. Director Marc Carreté crafts a sloppy exorcism film with a severe lack of horror. The narrative is all over the place due to a lack of effective direction and sloppy writing.

Overall, Asmodexia is a boring film. The story is incoherent and bland, and there is a severe lack of horror. It sets out to be more than the typical exorcism/possession film, but ends up fumbling over
itself. Some of its flaws and shortcomings could have been forgiven if the film were frightening or entertaining, but it's not — it's simply boring. The climax is strong, but the journey is a drag. I don't recommend it.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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