After our recent experience with the phenomenally poor Shark Exorcist, I thought I'd treat Paul to another shonky-looking exorcist film when he popped round this week for a movie night.
I'd come across a mention of Islamic Exorcist on Dread Central and, without plunging into spoilers, it had seemed to tick a lot of boxes for one of our cheesy horror screenings.
And it was on Amazon Streaming, so wouldn't cost us anything extra to watch - except a degree of our sanity!
Before I bang on for too long, I have to stress that Islamic Exorcist is better than Shark Exorcist, if only for the fact that it tries to present a coherent narrative (although not always very well) and manages to pull off a genuinely surprising twist as it goes into its final act (but let's gloss over the fact that it still ultimately fumbles this).
Unable to have a child of their own, an Indian couple adopt a child from a nearby orphanage, but the young girl turns out to be possessed by an evil djinn.
The story is then recounted in flashback by the mother to a journalist investigating the tragic outcome of the ill-fated adoption.
Before you get too excited by the sound of that brief synopsis, I have to admit that's a very generous compression of the rambling storyline of Islamic Exorcist.
Paul and I quickly formulated a theory that the script had been written in its native tongue then translated into English (using Google translate) and was then being recited by amateur non-English speaking actors.
Presumably they went with an English-language movie rather than subtitles because it was assumed the film would sell better, but, honestly, I think Islamic Exorcist would have been way stronger if it was all subtitled.
Apparently made with a budget in single digits, and shot - on video - almost entirely around a single (very nice) large modernist house (next to golf course), the film has to - unfortunately - rely on its actors to sell the horror of the story.
Thanks to the overly verbose nature of the script, the bad synching and often mumbling delivery of many of the performers adds to the air of confusing incoherence.
Beyond some funky camera filters, fake blood, scary eye shadow, and discordant sound effects (that are more amusing than creepy), the closest Islamic Exorcist gets to 'special effects' is a squatting actor suddenly popping up into frame (a trick used, at least, three times in the film).
It's worth also mentioning the ambient sound effects. Clearly whoever was operating the sound board hadn't covered 'fading' in their film studies yet, as not only does random noise occasionally drown out the dialogue, but sometimes the soundtrack just stops dead for no reason.
Not only is Islamic Exorcist not a good film (its twist, while welcome, was not that original, relying on a favourite trope of mine), it's not a well-told horror story either and certainly doesn't justify the praise heaped upon it by many genre websites (as evidenced in the poster above).
On the plus side, it's only 83 minutes long...