An ex-father is in decline in Africa when he called upon to take a look at the remains of an ancient church at archaeological site. Once there he discovers local tribesmen are afraid of the church and that a father from the Vatican is keeping an overly close eye on proceedings.

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The story - which is actually ripe for the picking - is squashed by dull a-to-z filmmaking, and even the exorcisms aren\'t much chop.

If it?s a sin to make a movie boring then it is heresy to make a horror movie dull. After all they are the films that have such license to fully engage us and all of our senses. In 1973 William Friedkin?s The Exorcist did just that. It scared the pants off people and made them hide under their beds. Exorcist: The Beginning is more likely to make people put their pants back on, climb back onto the mattress and go off to bye byes... This prequel is the fourth film in The Exorcist series. It charts the rise of Father Merrin, The Exorcist?s melancholic ?demonslayer? who was played by Max Von Sydow in 1973. The job now goes to great character actor Stellan Skarsgard (Breaking The Waves), who looks more like Indiana Jones in this than he does a fallen priest. It is 1959 and the scars of WWII are still fresh for Father Merrin who bore witness to the atrocities committed by the Nazis. He has forsaken his god for science, and is now an archaeologist with a bit of a drinking problem. Commissioned to attend a dig in Kenya, both disciplines come in handy when he discovers the secrets hidden in a heretical church buried beneath tons of sand. Talk about fallen priests. This is surely a fall from grace for Renny Harlin who was once a very competent A-list Hollywood action director. Although he really hasn?t made a decent movie since Die Hard 2 (1990), both The Long Kiss Goodnight (1993) and Cliffhanger (1996) made marks at the box office, as did one of his last theatrical releases, the abysmal Deep Blue Sea (1999). The actors look like marionettes, the story ? which is actually ripe for the picking - is squashed by dull a-z filmmaking, and even the exorcisms aren?t much chop. As far as exorcisms on screen go, John Safran?s recent demon purging was much more entertaining, scary and, worth watching.