FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 5, 2015

Day 5: ASMODEXIA (2014)

While horror fans complain about–and indulge in–the endless zombie movies released over the last few years, another subgenre has quietly flooded the market: the exorcism movie. Where the frig did they all come from, and how did we never notice that they were massing? From high budget, mainstream efforts with stars you recognize (such as The Possession) to bargain bin indies, it seems that lately, possession is the new black. It's a veritable glut, I tells ya. Not that I'm complaining! I love an exorcism movie, the grosser the better. Yeah, they're rapidly approaching dime-a-dozen land, and–okay, they're already there. I've seen plenty of efforts that think a good possession flick only requires some girl contorting in a bed while foaming at the mouth and going "rarrrr!" but...wait, were those horror movies I was watching? With titles like Beyond the Back Door, I guess you can't really tell.

Anyway, my point is, I was both excited and not at all excited about Asmodexia. I can't help but look forward to a movie that features exorcisms, but the ratings for this one are pretty low and the "cover" on Netflix is exactly the kind of Photoshopped monstrosity that I loathe. (I know, I know, I should get over them but it's taking time because I just HATE THEM SO MUCH.) My hopes weren't high, but my secret hopes sure were, if you know what I mean.

I don't want to keep you in suspense any longer about this movie and my feelings toward it, so let me sum up for you how it went whilst I watched:

"Hmm, okay...yehhh, alright...oh, I like that...what's going on?...wait, this is pretty cool...I'm digging this, I think?...I'm digging this!...fuck yeah!...hey, I really liked that."

When you dig a movie way more than the masses seem to, it could make you wonder if you have low standards. If you're me, however, you wonder why the rest of the world has such bad taste.

As a clock ticks down to an event called "The Resurrection," a rash of demonic possessions sweeps through Barcelona, and it's up to door-to-door exorcism salesman Eloy (Lluís Marco) and his granddaughter Alba (Clàudia Pons) to stop them. As the end of the Mayan calendar and the Resurrection approach, the temperature rises and patients at a local institution are all worked up in a demonic frenzy. One of them, Ona (Irene Montalà) is an accused witch...but she may also be the only one who knows what's up and is capable of stopping it.

You, too, may figure out what's up fairly early on, but you won't know how it's all gonna shake out. What I'm saying is that Asmodexia manages to be glaringly obvious and maddeningly obtuse, often simultaneously. Perhaps this is where the low ratings come in–very often I found myself wondering how things tied together and where the movie was going, even though I totally knew where it was going. That sort of thing can be frustrating as a viewer, but I was so into this movie that it didn't bother me a bit. It pushed so many of my horror cinema buttons–possession, witches, mysterious hooded figures, shiny happy religious cults, doomsday cults, Satanism–that I was firmly on board for the ride. For all the secrets and mystery throughout, Asmodexia wraps up rather quickly. If you're not on board, those last 10 minutes may not be worth the wait...but I guess it depends on whether or not you've got good taste.


CashBailey said...

Spain usually puts out pretty good horror movies so I wouldn't be surprised that this was above-average.

But exorcism movies join found footage and zombies as sub-genres I'd like to see retired for a decade or so.

Stacie Ponder said...

I am part of the problem! I'm not one for modern zombie movies (although I definitely indulge in the old stuff on the fairly-regular), but I'll give pretty much every found footage and exorcism movie a try. I just can't help it, I love 'em. I have to sift through (and sit through) a lot of junk, but every once in a while you come across something that shakes up the genre a bit, or is, at least, a somewhat new and refreshing take. (And yeah, those takes are usually out of Europe somewhere.)

highwayknees said...

Not to get off the subject but yeah there are def too many exorcism-y flicks around and zombies -yawn...
but I wanted to tell you about a new foreign (Dutch!) horror I saw. It's called CUB. It really had me high on my expectations just from seeing the 2 posters/covers which have that indefinable something that stems from one simple design element-a child in a mask-but not just any mask. It looks like a mud pack on top of a slab of tree bark mostly. But the primitive quality is what is haunting .
And the film you ask? Well while it does have a few good sczres it'd not overall particularly frightening. Just VERY creepy and with a bit more surprising cruelty of tone than I had expected. You can see the twist coming but it's still an effective one. Oh, and the look of the film is gorgeous. It all takes place in a French forest and has that loss of innocence thing goin on with a nod to Del Torro I'd say.
One scene of simulated (of course) animal cruelty is VERY hard to take even though the animal is not visible. That scene tells you tht this film could never have been made in the States.

Stacie Ponder said...

I actually have CUB written down on my list of things to see! Thanks for the rec, I'll definitely check it out when I can.