The Pope’s Exorcist (2023) No Spoiler Review

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

No spoilers! If you would like spoilers – check out the Spoiler post

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at 2023’s The Pope’s Exorcist

In 1987, Father Amorth (Russell Crowe) is assigned a case that will force him to overcome his past in order to save a family from a powerful demon.

Is The Pope’s Exorcist Based on a True Story?

No, while Father Gabriele Amorth is a real person who was the chief exorcist, none of the events depicted in the movie actually happened. The Pope’s Exorcist also references historical events like the Spanish Inquisition but referencing that it was dark time in history is about as accurate as it gets.

The cases depicted in the movie are said to be inspired by portions of Amorth’s journals but it seems the writers pulled bits and pieces and made up the rest.

Is The Pope’s Exorcist Scary?

The Pope’s Exorcist is not scary and while it does have some moments that will make you recoil nothing will actually make you scared of demons. Interestingly because of how the events of the movie play out it starts to teeter into fantasy and it loses any sense of terror that it started to instill.

Overall you won’t leave The Pope’s Exorcist afraid of anything except if you’re a history major and you just saw the part where the Spanish Inquisition is discussed.

No Spoiler Review:

The Pope’s Exorcist is great but not a great horror movie. It ends up being way more comedic and entertaining than I expected it to be and that’s mainly due to Russell Crowe’s performance.

As the joke-cracking, non-serious exorcist you can’t help but laugh at his antics and how he goes about situations. Honestly, I would compare it to watching Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man (2008). The rest of the cast is pretty good if not forgettable but that’s not their fault, even Daniel Zovatto, who does a great job, is outshined by Crowe.

As a horror movie I think it missed its mark, it felt more like it was an origin movie for a connected universe that has some horror tropes in it. Sort of like a more comedic Conjuring universe. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie, but for The Popes Exorcist it felt like the horror was third behind establishing sequels and a great character… and that’s okay if done right.

My biggest gripe with the film though, is the revisionist history it tries to pull. Had this been a completely fictional movie, that wouldn’t be a big deal but this movie is supposedly based on real cases by a real person so to revise history in the way it did, it felt like some random bullshit that was not needed.

To be fair I do love history so that’s why that part bothered me so much but even then, it doesn’t ruin the movie. Overall The Pope’s Exorcist is highly entertaining and I recommend everyone give it a watch if you’re looking for a non-scary horror movie with an extremely likable main character.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 81%

Metacritic – 45

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