Spoilers follow ...
- Asmodexia review by NP
This very interesting Spanish exorcism story concerns Eloy de Palma (Lluís Marco) and his fifteen year-old grand-daughter Alba (Clàudia Pons), as they travel Barcelona where demonic possession is slowly spreading like a disease. Of course, we get our fair share of gut-wrenching screams and blank-eyed wailing – I’d be disappointed if we didn’t, to be honest – but the story is a lot less predictable than many of the other ‘Exorcist’ variants that have done the rounds over the past few years. The possession seems to be attracted by the more vulnerable members of society – mental patients, drug addicts, the hospitalised etc.
The thread that links the various exorcisms is the enigma of Alba herself. From the sweaty opening scenes, it is apparent there may well be something unusual about her, but this possibility is put to one side for much of the running time, although there are further hints to this effect.
The very satisfying end which both solves that particular riddle, as well as the truth about her grandfather, is powerfully conveyed. This is Marc Carreté’s debut as director (and co-writer), and hopefully his is a name we shall more from in the future. For the most part, he goes against the scare tactics, gore, sex and jump-scares of his associates in the field and the results are very refreshing, as well as dark and brooding. Producer and art designer Llorenç Mas must also get a mention, as must Jordi Dalmau who provides an excellent, sinister score.
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