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Steven R. Monroe
Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden
Writing Credits:
Matt Venne

As an adult, Molly Hartley has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 10/20/2015
• “Exorcism: Beyond One Truth” Featurette
• “Clovesdale Institute: Classified Security Camera Footage”
• “Director Diaries”
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Exorcism of Molly Hartley [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 29, 2015)

Will a movie someday supplant The Exorcist as the dominant film in its genre? No – there’s a zero percent chance anything ever overtakes the 1973 classic when it comes to movies about demonic possession.

Nonetheless, filmmakers continue to mine the subject matter for cinematic offerings, and that leads us to 2015’s The Exorcism of Molly Hartley. A sequel to 2008’s The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Exorcism finds Molly (Sarah Lind) a few years down the road. She continues to harbor a literal demon inside of her, and after a wild night of partying/sex, Molly comes under suspicion of murder.

This leads to her placement inside a mental institution, where she causes all sorts of chaos due to her supernatural abilities. Can Molly be saved/redeemed? Defrocked priest John Barrow (Devon Sawa) plans to give it a try.

The existence of Exorcism appears to prove that virtually any movie can lead to a sequel. Haunting didn’t exactly dominate box offices, as it earned a mere $15 million or so worldwide. With a tiny $5 million budget, it made money, but not much.

Someone must have faith in the property – though not enough faith to send Exorcism to the big screen, as the film went direct to video. One suspects it comes with a budget even smaller than the pittance used to make Haunting as well.

I never saw the earlier film, so Exorcism acts as my introduction to the characters and situations. Not that I need a lot of exposition, as Exorcism firmly sticks with tried and true genre conceits.

Of course, this means heavy nods back to The Exorcist, and reflections of other demon-oriented efforts appear as well. Perhaps someone can find an original thought buried in Exorcism, but I couldn’t locate anything new or fresh.

Not that I demand total originality from all the movies I see, and that’s especially true within the horror genre. There are only so many ways to scare an audience, so I can live with flicks that echo predecessors as long as they do so in a dynamic, involving manner.

Exorcism fails to succeed in that regard. Really, the movie lacks any true plot, as it consists of little more than a barely coherent conglomeration of horror moments. We get the requisite Exorcist references – possessed person tied to a bed, possessed person who vomits green goop – and other supposedly creepy/scary bits. Not to be outdone, some scenes come straight out of The Omen as well.

None of these add up to anything more than a headache for the viewer. Even if I ignore the film’s complete lack of creativity, the attempts at tension/scares simply don’t go anywhere. Everything feels forced, as the filmmakers work overtime to produce the desired results.

These flop. All of the graphic imagery, spooky music and loud noises in the world can’t make this tedious story interesting. We simply follow the movie’s incessant bang and clatter as it ambles from one cliché to another, with nary a scare in sight.

All of this leaves us with a slow, ineffective horror experience. Nothing more than a conglomeration of sequences borrowed from better films, Exorcism goes nowhere.

Footnote: maybe this just shows my age, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t find it tough not to call the movie The Exorcism of Mariette Hartley.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not an eye-popping presentation, the transfer served the material well.

Sharpness looked good. A smidgen of softness hit some wider shots, but those instances remained quite insubstantial, so the majority of the flick showed fine clarity and accuracy. Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.

In terms of colors, Exorcism went with stylized tones, as the movie tended toward teal or a sickly yellow/green tint. The hues never stood out as memorable, but they weren’t supposed to be impressive, so they were fine for this story’s stripped palette. Blacks were pretty deep, and shadows were well-depicted. The image offered a solid “B+” presentation.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it lacked a ton of ambition, though I didn’t view that as a flaw. A story like this came heavy on ambience and light on opportunities for fireworks, so the absence of showy sequences failed to become a problem. Music filled the various channels in a satisfying manner, and low-key effects fleshed out the spectrum in a logical manner. Nothing dazzled but the mix seemed workable for the material.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, while effects – as subdued as they tended to be – remained accurate and full-bodied. Music was vibrant and dynamic. While this was never a memorable track, it suited the story.

When we shift to extras, we start with Exorcism: Beyond One Truth. It runs 18 minutes, 24 seconds and offers comments from exorcist Reverend Michael Maginot, Rush University Director of Clinical Services Dr. Robert Shulman, University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry Director Dr. Deborah Spitz, director Steven R. Monroe, and actors Devon Sawa, Sarah Lind, and Gina Holden. The program examines notions of demonic possession. “Truth” manages a surprisingly balanced approach, as it looks at the topic from both religious and scientific views. It becomes a fairly interesting show.

Clovesdale Institute: Classified Security Camera Footage lasts four minutes, four seconds. It gives us “candid” footage of the movie’s characters in the mental hospital. This means we see alternate views of some movie scenes, but these moments don’t seem especially interesting.

Under Director Diaries, we locate four minutes, 41 seconds of material. These clips show Monroe as he leads us through a few aspects of the production. Though these offer a smattering of mildly useful behind the scenes moments, they’re too brief to provide much detail.

The disc opens with ads for American Horror Story: Freak Show and The Pyramid. Sneak Peek adds promos for Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort and Wayward Pines. No trailer for Exorcism appears here.

Does any part of The Exorcism of Molly Hartley reinvigorate its genre? Nope – the movie simply steals from other films and inundates us with tacky, cheap attempts at horror. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and positive audio but it lacks substantial bonus materials. Exorcism flops and ends up as a pointless, redundant

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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