As a Catholic, one of my biggest fears has always been demonic possession. I sleep with rosary beads and even know people who've claimed to have been tormented by evil forces. I'm not crazy about demonic films, but I can tell the difference between a good one — 1973's The Exorcist — and a terrible one — 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
The Last Exorcism Part II hit theaters Friday, so in honor of that poorly-reviewed and underwhelming flick, here are a few other exorcism/demonic movies we would have been just fine without.
1. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This movie freaked out 17-year-old high school senior me back in 2005. I didn't like the notion that main character Emily Rose dies during her exorcism, but the film was so atrocious that I was able to look past the scary scenes and laugh. I'm pretty sure Emily, who gets possessed in her college dorm, eats a spider at some point, which is more funny than creepy. At any rate, this isn't the cream of the crop when it comes to exorcism movies.
2. The Unborn
In The Unborn, a girl who resembles Megan Fox gets possessed by the spirt of a creepy little boy. Naturally, there's another creepy little boy lurking around the neighborhood, and her gorgeous boyfriend can't do anything about it. We learn that the demon boy is Megan Fox lookalike's unborn twin, who she actually killed in the womb. FAIL. We also learn that her grandmother's twin brother died in the Holocaust from Nazi experiments. The story is decent until World War II gets involved. Pass.
3. The Devil Inside
Like the Paranormal Activity franchise, this is a fake documentary-style movie, which follows a girl named Isabella as she tries to figure out what happened to her mother Maria Rossi during an exorcism that left three people dead.
Isabella visits her institutionalized mom, who yells in different accents and screams seriously creepy things. I may not have experience with possessed parents, but I'm smart enough to figure out that doing a documentary on someone who is clearly possessed probably isn't won't end well for those who aren't already slaves to the devil. The main character is foolish, and so is anyone who goes into this thinking it's going to be good or on par with The Exorcist.
4. Paranormal Activity
All four Paranormal Activity movies are big disappointments. The first is somewhat entertaining even though there's little back story and arguably only one frightening scene. The second includes more of an explanation, which feels like a cop out. The third makes the demon seem a lot less terrifying than he is, as we see him in action more frequently than in the other movies and he loses his mystique.
The fourth installment has the most story holes of all, not to mention dim-witted adults and psycho kids. There will be yet another PA flick this fall, but don't expect it to turn the franchise around and actually be good, and if it poaches from The Shining again, I'm going to lose my cool.