I JUST SAW… Asmodexia (Spain, 2014)

During my ongoing search of unknown and underrated horror movies, I recently came across this “unique spin on the exorcism sub-genre” of horror, as it’s written on the DVD cover of Asmodexia.

Asmodexia 1.jpgHere we have a Spanish horror movie that follows four days in the lives of grizzled preacher Eloy de Palma and his gifted granddaughter Alba: Asmodexia starts with the caption “four days to the resurrection”, during an unusually hot December. In this mysterious and odd setting, Eloy and Alba are roaming the streets of Barcelona, all the while exorcising people left and right… with their rituals often being very rude and relentless.

What I immediately liked about Asmodexia (which means something like ‘The Goddess of Evil’) was its offbeat vibe: shot on 60mm film, the movie has a very low-budget yet fascinating look that enhances the dreadful vibe which is constant throughout the entire runtime.

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As soon as the main storyline of these two characters starts to intertwine with that of an insane asylum, the mystery picks up and, throughout the film, the viewer keeps wondering what this story is going, what the big reveal is going to be.

If a well-constructed mystery and an atmospheric tone aren’t enough for you, Asmodexia also features a great performance by Lluis Marco as Eloy, some very attractive women, and a few spooky sequences executed without jump-scares but with very clever editing choices and some great makeup.

This is another great addition in the IFC Midnight catalogue and I absolutely recommend to get the copy of the film distributed by Sharp Teeth Films: their edition comes with loads of insightful featurettes about the making-of of Asmodexia and with interesting interviews with cast and filmmakers.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this film which has, indeed, quite an unconventional and blasphemous approach to exorcisms, but I will admit I was also a bit disappointed by it.

Although premise, story and reveal are undoubtedly top-notch, the movie itself manages to get very repetitive: Eloy and Alba perform an exorcism, then move on and chat for a bit; then they perform another exorcism, they move on and chat for a bit; another exorcism, a bit more walking and chatting… you get the point, Asmodexia can get rather tedious during certain moments.

Also, the movie lacks violence. I understand that possession flicks (especially the American ones) are now all PG-13 and I most definitely didn’t expect something along the lines of American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon, but the greedy look and dreadful atmosphere would have perfectly fitted a more gruesome type of exorcism, in my opinion.

What I’m trying to say is that Asmodexia had everything to be one of the most powerful and original entrances in the exorcism sub-genre of horror but it didn’t quite achieve that.

With that being said, if you’re a fan of indie filmmaking and possession flicks, and want something different for a change, you shouldn’t miss this one out! Click on the images below to get a copy of some unconventional possession flicks right now:

Asmodexia                             7/10

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