Lorraine is covering a project for her final year in college and as she is recording her developments, she stumbles upon the unflinching story of a girl who is dangerously possessed and the people who try to help her.

‘An Irish Exorcism’ is directed by Eric Courtney, and stars Paddy C. Courtney (Shameless), Brian Fortune (Game Of Thrones), Aislinn Ni Uallaichainn, Elaine Hearty, Dillon White, and Anna Davis.  The film is pretty much a copy of every found footage film you’ve ever seen, incorporating elements of ‘The Exorcist‘, ‘Paranormal Activity‘, and ‘REC‘.  Lorraine (Uallaichainn) is a driven college student, determined to craft an amitious thesis about exorcism.  She is essentially the same character as Angela from ‘REC‘ or ‘Quarantine‘.  She is persistent, dogged, and uninterested in anyone else’s feelings but her own.  This makes for a very abrasive character to follow and ,unfortunately, she has the most screen time.

The film would be more interesting if I hadn’t seen this scenario, and every scare the film offers, hundreds of times in dozens of horror films that have been released over the last couple years.  There are long stretches of people talking.  There are camera angles that focus on a door as someone talks.  Objects move suddenly while Lorraine screams in fright.  There is absolutely nothing new or original in the entire film.  There are no special effects to speak of, and the “possessed” girl looks like a reject from an Asian horror film.

The highlight of the film is the acting from the two priests, played by Brian Fortune and Paddy Courtney.  Fortune’s Father Byrne is a grumpy man who despises having his activities taped, and he makes this immediately apparent to Lorraine.  His gruff demeanor was very convincing.  Elaine Hearty as the put-upon mother was also terrific.  Somehow, Lorraine convinces Father Byrne to allow her to continue taping the entire film.  This point was lost on me and seems to have been glossed over for the sake of the plot.

What really bothers me is that I can’t help but feel that the decision to film with a found footage style is an excuse to be lazy behind the camera.  In this way, the cinematography can be as roughshod as possible.  There is no need to set up actual characters because we are only seeing a snippet of their lives.  Angela and her cameraman Cathal (White), are caricatures drawn to move forward a shell of a narrative.

Essentially ‘An Irish Exorcism’ was torturous for me to watch.  I wouldn’t recommend it to many people.  However, if you are a religious person there might be something here for you.  The film has a central core that might appeal to those inclined to believe in exorcism and the power of the Lord.

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