Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Joshua John Miller, writer M.A. Fortin and Vertical is a man in crisis with THE EXORCISM.

Actor Tony Miller (Russell Crowe) has spent the last few years dealing with addiction issues and family problems. Daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins) has arrived home due to being expelled from school and it is clear that father and daughter have deep seeded issues. Trying to get along, Lee offers to help Tony learn the lines for a new horror film he has been cast in and he brings her on as his production assistant.

On the set, Lee meets Blake (Chloe Bailey) who is a music star also in the film and they strike up a friendship. Ready to being is the director, Peter (Adam Goldberg), who speaks his mind and pushes Tony to perform using his disturbing past with the church and his family life as a motivator. Father Conor (David Hyde Pierce) is the religious advisor on the set to share what he knows about exorcisms.

Lee notices right away that something is happening with her father. Tony is acting strangely and the young girl believes he is reverting to old behaviors. That is until she begins seeing things that cannot possibly be true. Asking for help from Father Conor, they both come to realize that the only way to save Tony is but confronting the evil that is plaguing him.

Crowe as Miller is no stranger to the mysteries of the spiritual world. In 2023, he took on the role of Father Gabriel Amorth in the film THE POPE’S EXORCIST so in this film he takes on the challenge of a non-religious dealing with demons. Haunted not only by his childhood but the bad way Tony handled his homelife and relationship with his young daughter, it was enough to give the demons an in and Crowe goes along for the ride pretty well. It is a solid performance as he portrays this tortured soul.

Simpkins as daughter Lee is a 16-year-old who plays right into the stereotypical on-screen teenager who has a bad attitude, uses her words to bite and things her rebellion is original. Watching Tony go through changes, Simpkins character starts to believe that it is not his past addictions that are plaguing him. That’s when she changes herself which can make all the difference.

Pierce as Father Conor is on set to give his impressions of Tony’s portrayal of a priest but finds himself befriending Lee. As time goes along, Pierces’ character also sees what Tony’s daughter has been saying about her father. That is when he knows what must be done. Pierce gives a quiet performance at the beginning but definetly shows what his character is made of.

Shout out to Goldberg who plays the director of the film. Honestly, this character is hideous, mean spirited and I wanted to smack the garbage out of his mouth but then again, it got the job done beautifully.

Other cast includes Sam Worthington as Joe, Tracey Bonner as Regina, Marcenae Lynette as Monica, Hallie Samuels as Hayley, Joshua Miller and FX Guy, Anna Reyer as Hair Stylist, Samantha Mathis as Jennifer.

Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique wealth of experience minus the studio costs. They have won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in OTHER PEOPLE and the film won a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Film Limited Release, Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s UNDER THE SHADOW, a BAFTA and three Independent British Independent Film Awards as well. For more go to

Director Miller is actually the son of the actor Jason Miller who originally played Father Karras in the 1973 blockbuster, and frightening film of the time, THE EXORCIST. Hearing the stories told by his father are of how there were injuries on that set, mysterious happenings and the haunted feelings. Along with co-writer Fortin, the idea was to update the genre formula of man vs. possession. “We were gifted with an extraordinary cast and creative team to tell a story about how we’re all vulnerable to darkness, to perpetuating it, if we fail to face our demons,” says Miller.

Crowe says of his role in the film, “For me, as an actor to play a man who has had these life experiences, carries these things, was quite complicated. It was a very challenging idea as a role, so it got my interest. On playing the role of father, he says, “[my character] wants to take that position of father but realizes that he has work to do to rebuild trust with his daughter. However, she’s quite closed off so it’s a difficult situation for them both.”

The film peels back slowly to get to the heart of the matter with the final explosive scenes that is worthy of using the gasps of “WHOA!”. Grabbing onto the idea of the 1973 film, director Miller and the cast bring about the shakes and shivers one would expect of a film that brings a demon into play. Keeping the film dimly lit, loaded with grey colors and shadowy spooks and frights, THE EXORCISM falls in line with the rest of this genre of films.

Turn the lights out and have an arm to hold onto to prepare for THE EXORCISM.

In the end – unmask the devil and the devil will retaliate!



Recommend to friends
  • gplus
  • pinterest

About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.