What happens when everything about a movie is just average? It’s neither bad nor surprising. Instead, the film is just ordinary. That’s what happens with The Crucifixion, a tale about a journalist investigating the death of a nun that occurred during an exorcism. There’s nothing new we haven’t seen before—it’s your standard, run-of-the-mill exorcism story where a protagonist has lost their faith in God who then has to rediscover her faith to fight off a demonic possession. If the plot feels like something you’ve watched before, it’s because you have.
At its worst, the movie is cliché. There are banging doors, fussy computers and a car that dies in the middle of the road to advance the plot while failing to startle the audience. There are no surprises here. A well-versed horror aficionado can predict the plot, and the few times the demon is seen, it distracts from any remaining creep factor the movie drummed up, which is on several occasions.
There’s a scene toward the middle of the movie where the young journalist, Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson) begins to discover the nun’s death was likely not murder. On the floor of the nun’s bedroom, she finds claw marks on the stone floor and a bloody fingernail. While there are several flashbacks in the movie to when the nun was possessed, they are just a tease of a better, more enthralling movie.
For being a brisk 90-minute movie, The Crucifixion feels excruciatingly long. That’s because the movie’s structure is uneven. There are long scenes of exposition where a conversation between two characters explains what’s going on to the audience, which are only broken up by predictable and unsatisfying jump scares. Sadly, the trailer for this movie is a supercut of what were supposed be the scary parts. As the movie came to a close, I frequently checked how much time was left because it felt like it was progressing so slowly.
And that’s where the movie suffers the most. It’s just dull to watch. The acting is fine, the story is okay, and it looks good. There are no terrible special effects or atrocious lines of dialogue. It’s average. Disappointingly, we’ve seen plenty of mediocre exorcism movies in the past. One of the few things The Crucifixion does exceptionally well is add its title to an already crowded list of average horror movies at a time when high-quality horror is flourishing.
If you were hoping the movie being from the producers of Annabelle and the writers of The Conjuring could drum up something inventive and exciting, we’re sorry to disappoint. If anything, The Crucifixion cannot live up to its own hype.
The Crucifixion [Review]
The Crucifixion disappoints not because it’s bad, but because the sum of its parts equal mediocrity. It just doesn’t stand out from the crowd.