When old Agnes (Elizabeth McNally) has a fit of violent madness before
she dies, nobody's really surprised as she has been suffering from
dementia for years, and her fit might just be one of the symptoms. When
her longtime maid Magda (Anna Liddell) goes violently crazy though,
Agnes's family - daughter Christine (Nicola Wright) and her offspring
Rebecca (Sarah Alexandra Marks) and Nick (Ben Parsons), and son Patrick
(Simon Furness) and his daughter Rose (Nicole Nabi) - is fittingly
concerned, so much so that they call in an exorcist, tough guy priest with
a handgun and a criminal record Father Jozsef (Robert Bronzi). It doesn't
take Father Jozsef long before he determines that Magda is possessed, and
he has her gagged and tied down to a bed over the night - much to the
dismay of Patrick, who doesn't give much about the whole idea of exorcism.
In fact, of the whole family only Rebecca really believes in Father
Jozsef. That said, that night Magda's all tied up, Nicholas is brutally
killed by a person unknown. Father Jozsef insists of not calling the
police, instead performs an exorcism on Magda - that kills the poor woman.
Upon this, Patrick wants to throw Father Jozsef out - which ends in a
fistfight, where Father Jozsef soon wins the upper hand. That earns him
the respect from Patrick, and after sharing a bottle of whiskey, he
invites him to stay after all. But later that night, Patrick, too, is
killed by a person unknown, something Christine blames on Father Jozsef
and thus asks him to leave, despite his assertions that his work is not
yet done. It's only later that Father Jozsef opens a letter Patrick has
written to him that also contains a few photos that he figures who's
really behind everything - but by this time it might be too late ...
Exorcist Vengeance most certainly isn't a film that tries to
re-invent the horror genre - quite the contrary, actually, it's a
throwback to 1970s horror in pretty much everything, from theme to story
to style to effects to pacing, and of course Charles Bronson double Robert
Bronzi in the lead also hits high on the nostalgia charts, especially
since he still brings an air of Death Wish to his priest character.
But all of this really works for the movie, it's a nice change from modern
indie horror that only rarely takes the route of this film. That said,
this movie doesn't work just as a throwback but tells a story that's
engaging enough, the film's directed with an eye on atmosphere, and the
cast is solid, with Bronzi, even if he won't ever be able to shake Charles
Bronson comparisons, coming more and more into his own. That all results
in probably not a classic, but genre fun for sure.