While we don’t necessarily need (or want) another exorcism movie, Mark Neveldine’s influence and a possible spin on the plot could be just enough to suggest that The Vatican Tapes might offer a unique take on the horror sub-genre.
Lakeshore Entertainment has recruited the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Gamer and Crank co-director to make The Vatican Tapes his first solo effort, replacing the original director, Man on Wire’s James Marsh.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything about the project, but back in 2009 when reports first surfaced, the story was said to be in the vein of The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, about what happens when top-secret tapes from the Vatican documenting an exorcism-gone-wrong hit the public.
Before writing this one off as another excuse to make a quick buck with eerie visuals of a helpless victim contorting his or her body, consider the fact that the movie might not be about the exorcism itself, and more so about the repercussions of the tape going public. This is all just prescriptive speculation until more plot details surface, but should The Vatican Tapes focus on the mass hysteria such an event would cause, we could wind up with an exorcism film that’s far more grounded and perhaps even more terrifying than most.
Think The Exorcism of Emily Rose. What makes that film stand out isn’t the horrifying display of poor Jennifer Carpenter losing herself to a violent demon, but rather the result – the trial of Father Moore. Same type of story, but with a fresh perspective. Could you imagine how the public might react if visual recordings of an actual exorcism hit YouTube? For the sake of a movie, the scenario is oozing with potential.
Throw Neveldine into the mix and we’re bound to get a directorial style well outside the exorcism box. Save for Crank, the guy may be drowning in bad ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but if The Vatican Tapes script is in good shape, Neveldine’s expertise in extreme filmmaking could lead to some unique horror imagery. Have you seen the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance behind-the-scene featurette? Neveldine is a guy who goes to extremes for his art.
We’ll keep you updated about the status of The Vatican Tapes.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.