Actors: Albert Baro, Pepo Blasco, Marta Belmonte
Director: Marc Carreté
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2015
Run Time: 81 minutes
At the very least, Asmodexia has a somewhat original plot that deters from most other exorcism horror films, though it still revels in all of the typical visual tropes of the genre. Young girls, elderly people and children are subjected to the usual demon-possession sequences, though the film eventually offers a thinly veiled twist on the narrative which removes faith and Christianity from the equation altogether. Even though the misdirection of the movie’s early sequences are fairly transparent, Asmodexia is ultimately brought down by an overcomplicated screenplay trying too hard to surprise the audience with mystery. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who is good or bad; the movie relies almost entirely on the style of individual exorcism sequences.
After a disconcerting opening pregnancy sequence which hints at the obvious twist at the center of the narrative, we spend much of the film following a non-Christian exorcist named Eloy Palma (Lluís Marco) and his creepy granddaughter, Alba (Cláudia Pons). Despite their traveling exorcism routine, it is clear from the eerie music that these are not typical exorcisms. I would worry that my review might reveal the true reason for the rituals, but the details are convoluted despite a clear reversal of the typical good vs. evil format of these films. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about demons or predictions for the apocalypse would be capable of understanding the motives of each character, but for most this will just be a series of stylized horror scenes leading up to an expected twist ending.
I don’t care for demon possession films even when the characters are relatable and the distinction between good and evil is clearly defined. Asmodexia is a film ruled by mood rather than story, and I felt no connection to any of the characters. As a result, there is nothing at stake when watching the conflict play out. None of what occurs demands consideration from the audience beyond the cleverness of the set-up and the style of the horror sequences. It doesn’t help that the cast offers little to relate to, with thinly developed characters and mediocre acting. This seems to be a stylized feature-film debut serving as a calling card for director Marc Carreté, though it simultaneously shows his inexperience as a screenwriter.
The DVD special features include a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 4.5/10