The folks out at MTI sent over a copy of Legion: The Final Exorcism for us to review, and I’ve been seeing a whole lot of exorcism movies lately. Though this one is supposedly based on true events–they’ll tell you as much in a small title crawl in the early moments of the movie–it’s a little too weird to be believable as truth, even in part.
Legion: the Final Exorcism takes Michael San Chica, Episcopal minister, who’s very much on the outs with his church for pounding on the exorcism button way too often, including on his own wife, with fatal results. And he’s come back to take on a familiar foe, one he’d vowed to send back to hell if he ever found again. And not surprisingly, he’s found it again. But will he fulfill his vow…or die trying?
It watches almost like an episode of Cops for a while there, but with worse dialogue. Seriously, does anyone actually think a ten year old boy would describe his nightmares as “I’m seeing evil things again”? And it only gets more unintentionally comical from there; I spent much of the first fifteen minutes of this movie just laughing myself stupid as the most ludicrous lines and scenes flew by in high-speed cuts like some kind of cheesy MTV movie version of a horror flick.
I’ll say this for Legion: The Final Exorcism–it does have some scary moments. It also has entirely too many funny moments, because this thing is taking itself way too seriously with virtually no merit or viable reason to take itself this seriously. It’s pretty shabbily constructed, downright low-end. The script is weak, the pacing slow and the whole concept inferior.
It’s far from a blanket condemnation–it will have some decent parts in it–it’s just that the whole is a little on the weak side. If you’re willing to put up with the soft spots, you might enjoy the whole thing, and maybe even get some laughs out of it. Mark Heavener, director, writer, and lead actor of the whole magilla, actually looks quite a bit like a young Bruce Campbell with a weaker chin, and while this can’t quite match the over the top antics of a Sam Raimi horror flick, it doesn’t do a terrible job.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives the mixed bag that is Legion: The Final Exorcism a five out of ten for letting its audience down in a lot of ways, but providing a few unexpected pleasures along the way.