“There’s no such thing as possessions, okay! That’s just something the Catholics made up to keep you coming back for more wafers!”
Story: A former rehab/juvie center had some seriously bad stuff happen back in the day. But now, the Catholic church has bought building, hoping to turn it into a youth center. But first? Teens gonna party in the old place! I’m sure nothing supernatural will happen. Hey, why are all the doors and windows locked?
Scares: Meh. Maybe for n00bs. But just goofy funtimes for horror fans.
Splat factor: Lots of dark red blood. Plenty of gore FX.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Nup. But there’s an after credits bit of sequel fodder.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original.
Trick or Treat?: Exeter is a blend of asylum haunt & exorcism storyline. Director Marcus Nispel – he of the pretty decent Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the iffy Friday the 13th remake – does a good job of shooting inside an abandoned building. There’s a nice sense of dread and confusion with the way shots are laid out and angled. Plus, there are several fun jump scares to be had. (As opposed to the usual sad, predictable jump scares used to give the film any semblance of horror.) There’s also a great, hilarious jump cut when someone who ain’t down with organized religion is suddenly found to be all sorts of down with it.
The rock score by Quarantine ain’t bad. I dig it. I also dig the makeup FX, and the set design. Though I hope all the folks that worked on this film are up on their latest tetanus booster. Gads that’s a whole lot of rusty looking metal…
The screenplay is full of the usual stupid hiccups horror loves to throw at us. Hey – how come they tried to exorcise little brother, but not his possessed friends? Oh right; because plot. And shaky characters are the rule of the day here. One minute the uptight church kid is all “Why you do party here”, and the next moment he’s picking up a chick and grabbing a beer. Then there’s the usual lazy ass misuse of “Wicca” as evil. Y’know, because witches. UGH. Do better, movies.
But I did love how the cut-rate Pauly Shore stoner character had a stuck-on cheezy poof on his back through a good part of the movie. Nice touch. Hey, cheezy poofs would go great with the beer you’ll need to really enjoy this one-by-one possession tale! For what it is, it’s fun. Not great, but fun. Saddle up to the bar y’all, it’s time to drunk-watch some horror!
Score: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkins.