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The Crucifixion

Score: 78%
Rating: R
Publisher: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 91 Mins.
Genre: Thriller/Horror/Mystery
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Features:

  • The Crucifixion: The Director's Vision
  • Trailer

The Crucifixion is another movie in the growing demonic possession subgenre, and like many of those films, this focuses primarily on the investigation surrounding a possession. While The Crucifixion does take the story in a few different directions, for better or worse, it never strays far from the standard formula.

Nicole (Sophie Cookson, Kingsman: The Secret Service) is a journalist for a New York paper that has gotten word of a Romanian priest who has been arrested for murder. The priest believes he was performing an exorcism, but the extreme measures he went to in order to cast the demon out, specifically tying the victim to a cross, left the young nun in enough physical trauma that she might have died from the attempted cure. Nicole convinces her editor and uncle, Phil (Jeff Rawle, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), to send her to Tanac, Romania in order to investigate the incident and try and determine if the priest was casting out a real demon, or if it was just an elaborate murder.

Nicole arrives just in time for Sister Adelina Marinescu's (Ada Lupu) funeral, and while watching the ceremony, she takes note of several individuals. She will start by talking to Adelina's brother, Phillip (Alexis Rodney), and her close friend, Vaduva (Brittany Ashworth). She will also probe into the exorcism itself and its unusual aspects with Bishop Gornik (Matthew Zajac) and Farther Anton (Corneliu Ulici). As she learns about potential mental illnesses and other problems surrounding the nun, Nicole has to decide if the testimonies she is getting are trustworthy or biased because of preconceived notions.

Unfortunately for Nicole, as she digs more and more into Adelina's recent history, she starts to have strange experiences and can't help but question her own beliefs. As the strange occurrences start getting stronger and more violent, she turns to Anton for more information and learns that a demon that wasn't properly exorcised could jump into a different body in the hope of causing more trouble. Could this be what is happening to her, or is her mind simply playing tricks on her based on how steeped she has become in the investigation?

As a mystery, The Crucifixion weaves a good enough tale to make the viewer wonder how everything will play out, but as a horror film, the movie is filled primarily with jump scares, and predictable ones at that. It got to the point where I could tell from the camera angle and building mood that a feint followed by the real "scare" was coming up, and those happened very frequently throughout the film. That's not to say that the movie didn't elicit several jumps from me, but I always feel like these are cheap thrills when overused and not what I'm looking for in a horror movie.

The only special features on the Blu-ray version of The Crucifixion are an interview with Director Xavier Gens (Hitman, The Divide) and the theatrical trailer. While this does add some value to the release, The Crucifixion as a whole falls kind of flat. At most, the movie is a rental and only if you are looking for more jump scares than substance.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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