The Vatican Tapes
Directed by Mark Neveldine
Written by Christopher Borrelli
Starring Michael Pena, Kathleen Robertson, Djimon Hounsou, Peter Andersson, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori, and Olivia Taylor Dudley
The Vatican Tapes is about a young woman (Dudley) who becomes possessed, and two priests (Pena and Andersson) have to exercise the demon from her. The Vatican Tapes is a film that does not have much going for it, but the performances from the cast are surprisingly strong. Usually, horror films are not acted well at all, but Pena, Dudley, Andersson, and Hounsou gave compelling performances. The story of the film is the other strength. It is riveting, and you want to know how it all turns out. While there are a couple of things in the film that are good, much of the movie is just flawed. Primarily this is a horror film that should have been a thriller. As a horror film, it is only a series of jump scares. These jump scares are stale and ineffective. Although it should have been a thriller, the thriller elements in the film fall because of the movies instance on being a horror film. The premise is intriguing yes. However, it does not develop anything. None of the layers of the mystery are peeled back; the film gives you nothing. I do not like to spoil things in reviews but for The Vatican Tapes I have to make an exception. When the movie ends, you do not know how the girl got possessed or more importantly why the Devil choose her as the vehicle for the Anti-Christ. I felt that this film needed to focus on the thriller elements, which would mean that the mystery would need to be developed. Frankly, if that had been the case, then The Vatican Tapes would have been a great movie. The Vatican Tapes gets 1.5/5 because it is a thriller that insists on being a horror film, and this insistence sells the film short.