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.