The trailer for the upcoming movie “The Pope’s Exorcist,” which stars Russell Crowe as Father Gabriel Amorth, has generated significant concern among exorcists and members of the International Association of Exorcists, an organization that Father Amorth helped to found. The group’s statement, released on March 7, 2023, suggests that the film may not do justice to the real-life experiences of Father Amorth and the practice of exorcism as it is conducted within the Catholic Church.
According to the International Association of Exorcists, the movie trailer indicates that “The Pope’s Exorcist” falls under the category of “splatter cinema,” a sub-genre of horror films that feature graphic violence and gore. The group expressed concern that the movie’s depiction of exorcisms seems to be exaggerated and unrealistic, with excessive physical and verbal manifestations that are typical of horror films.
Furthermore, the group claimed that the use of high-contrast chiaroscuro effects in the film gives it a Da Vinci Code-like quality, suggesting to viewers that they should be suspicious of both the devil and the Church’s power. While special effects are expected in any film dealing with demonic possession, the group argued that “The Pope’s Exorcist” goes too far and distorts the reality of what is experienced during exorcisms.
The statement also noted that the movie’s portrayal of exorcism could be offensive to those who are genuinely suffering from the effects of demonic possession. The group promised to release a more in-depth response to the film’s April 14 theatrical release.
Despite the concerns expressed by the International Association of Exorcists, it is important to recognize that “The Pope’s Exorcist” is a work of fiction inspired by the real-life experiences of Father Gabriel Amorth. It is not intended to be a documentary or a historically accurate portrayal of exorcism within the Catholic Church.
Father Amorth, who passed away in 2016, was a highly respected and well-known exorcist who authored several books on the subject of exorcism, including “An Exorcist Tells His Story.” The upcoming movie is reportedly based on his book and is intended to be a fictionalized account of his experiences as an exorcist.
While there may be concerns about the accuracy of the movie’s portrayal of exorcism, it is important to remember that it is a work of fiction and should be viewed as such. It is also an opportunity for viewers to learn more about the life and work of Father Gabriel Amorth, a man who dedicated his life to helping others through his work as an exorcist.