At this point, exorcism movies are a dime a dozen. Since William Friedkin’s 1973 classic The Exorcist shocked an entire world of moviegoers, filmmakers have been trying to capitalize on that fear for more than four decades. Some attempts have been better than others, but nearly every subgenre of horror has an exorcism movie of its own. 2010’s found footage offering, The Last Exorcism, and its god-awful sequel pretty much represent the spectrum of what the exorcism genre has to offer these days. On one end is an attempt to try and actually do something different with the material, and the other is a soulless cash grab looking to make money off the word alone.
Thankfully, an upcoming film called Along Came the Devil seems to be more of the former:
According to an official synopsis:
Growing up, Ashley always had her sister Jordan to protect her and share hauntingly beautiful memories of their deceased mom. Now that Jordan has left for college, their Aunt Tanya has taken on the responsibility of caring for Ashley. Even though her aunt tries to reach out to her, Ashley can’t help but feel abandoned.
Ashley is trying to get used to her new life in her mom’s hometown, but she can’t shake the visions of her mom’s spirit or the feeling that something is terribly wrong. She is sure her mom is trying to reach out to her; even Hannah, her reunited hometown childhood friend, agrees. The girls decide to communicate with Ashley’s mother, they must conduct a seance. What they unearth will change their lives for the worse and leave Ashley’s loved ones fighting for her soul.
Now, this movie probably isn’t going to be the best thing you see all year, but Along Came the Devil definitely has a leg up on the competition. The trailer’s opening sequence is all but guaranteed to give you goosebumps, and writer-director Jason DeVan’s story of reconnecting with a departed family member looks and feels similar to Ari Aster’s debut feature, Hereditary, one of the best horror films of the last few years. DeVan co-wrote the screenplay with his wife, Heather, and the film stars up-and-comer Sydney Sweeney, who was one of the scene-stealers on Netflix’s short-lived sitcom, Everything Sucks. This year alone, Sweeney is set to appear in The Handmaid’s Tale and Sharp Objects, two of the year’s most talked-about shows, as well as David Robert Mitchell’s upcoming LA kidnapping saga, Under the Silver Lake.
Of course, not even this trailer can avoid all the horror cliches – its claim to be “Based on a True Story” is laughable at best – but Along Came the Devil looks like a genuinely terrifying and well-made new horror film starring one of the most exciting new stars working today. Be sure to check out the trailer, and check out Along Came the Devil in theaters and OnDemand on August 10th!
Images: Gravitas Ventures