(director/writer:  Neill Blomkamp;  cinematographer: Byron Kopman; editor: Austyn Daines; music: Ola Strandh; cast: Andrea Agur (Cashier), Nathalie Boltt (Angela), Terry Chen (Daniel, neuroscientist), Carly Pope (Carly, unhappy woman),  Chris William Martin (Martin), Kandyse McClure (Sam, a friend), Michael J. Rogers (clinic doctor); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Mike & Neil Blomkamp/Stuart Ford/Linda McDonough: IFC Midnight; 2021)

The dialogue and the acting are wooden, and the lame story only worsens as it goes on.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The once promising filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (“District 9″/”Elysium”) flounders in this low-budget schlocky supernatural horror pic revolving around family issues and old ghosts. It has little going for it by rekindling old horror pic demonic cliches. The dialogue and the acting are wooden, and the lame story only worsens as it goes on.

The unhappy Carly (Carly Pope) is displeased with her nutso mom, Angela (
Nathalie Boltt), whose gruesome murder spree landed her in a mental hospital prison some decades ago when Carly was a child. The young adult Carly now receives word from a shady organization called Therapol that her estranged mom is in a comatose state at a medical clinic in rural British Columbia and the research doctors (Terry Chen & Michael J. Rogers) want Carly to use experimental software stimulation to penetrate her elderly mom’s mind so she can view her demonic possession. The treatment will release mom’s inner demons (as the doctors want to say it was the Devil that made her do the crimes). Meanwhile Carly’s school friends, Martin (Chris William Martin) and Sam (Kandyse McClure), believe the clinic is a front for some religiously fanatical priests who want an excuse to kill demons (the priests are supposedly members of the Vatican’s secret team).

When mom’s monster is unleashed, the daughter is severely taken aback by it. Most of the action takes place outside the procedure as mom’s demon haunts Carly in her daily life. So might the audience by affected by such tripe, stuck with an absurd and empty tale after its good beginning premise. It leads to a silly climax, with Carly confronting a generic looking demon. The viewers might be better off in going back to watching a VCR of the better done popular William Friedkin horror pic, The Exorcist (1973), if they want to get their cinematic scares from such puke.

REVIEWED ON 8/21/2021  GRADE: C+