Philip Gardiner, Michelle Gent, Warren Croyle (executive), Joe Micallef (executive) for Reality Entertainment
directed by Philip Gardiner
starring Rudy Barrow, Liz Mente Bishop, Nathan Head, Emma Robins, Jane Haslehurst, Bob Lee, Philip Berzamanis, Jack Burrows, Liam M. Edwards, Alex Reed, Eirian Cohen, Kay Vardy, Emilia Zufir, David Samuels, Rachel Malone, Timothy Gamlin, Dan Metcalf, Laura Frank, Michael Haberfelner, Mike Shaw, Samantha Allison, Stacy Ruaux, Trent Owers, Xander Wale, Natascha Ciccone, Melissa Hollett, Dayna Shuffle, Kerrie Enning, Joy Wright, Sandy Slade, Nathan Williams, Sharron Burrows, Jack Rice, John Tannen, Angharad Backhouse-Jones, David Hague, Mick Sharpe, Nikki Webster, Jen Hyatt, Jasmin Bradley, Mary Appleby, Tammy Day, Shimoan Horne, Stacy Guest, Stephen Foster-Hunt, Lindy Pieri, Tom Vardy, Mel Romane, Leanne Sims, John Shelley, Tom Farnsworth, Donna Guilor, Chris Hill, Paul Thornley, Aaron Price, Amy Lee, Vicky Baker, Sarah Smith, Valentina Morina, Billy James, Siobhan-Zoe Thompson, Adrian Conway, Tina Barnes, Amy Spencer, Jennifer Warren, Lauren Harvey, Dean Sills, Michaela Wozny, Marilyn May James, Grace Malone, Keiron Hollett, Carolyn Burrows, Kathryn Fines, Rani Uddin, J.P. Chapman, Louise Martin, Caroline Prior, Stuart Whittaker, Craig Canning, Lauren Winchester Taylor, Cassie Hanley-Ball, James Broadley, Adam Hague, Ryan Woodward, Christina Mellors, Rebecca Jayne Slack, Jacqueline Slack, Matthew Wright, Emma Coleman, J. Marshall, Lynsey Anthony, Saul Gent, Daniel Mosley, Justin Mosley, Richard Stone
screenplay by Philip Gardiner, based on a concept by Warren Croyle, Joe Micallef, music and special effects by Philip Gardiner, special makeup effects by Bob Lee
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All across the world, demonic possessions have become something of an
epidemic, so much so that the Vatican has taken notice of it and has sent
a "task force" into what is believed the center of the
"disease", a seemingly insignificant rural village in the UK. Of
course, it wouldn't be the vatican if there wasn't some kind of scheming
involved, so Father Dominic (Bob Lee), who's in charge of the
investigation, sends in Father Jan (Rudy Barrow), a priest fallen out of
grace with his flock, and Daryl Lux (Liz Mente Bishop), an epidemologist
fallen out of favour with her employer. And all he affords them as abode
is a small trailer in the middle of a meadow, where he figures the two,
who come from very different backgrounds and have very different sets of
beliefs, are sure to clash.
However, after visiting a few
"possessed" and scouting the surrounding area, with each
experiencing things their set of beliefs cannot explain, they start to
bond, and their investigations start to lead somewhere ... even though
their results only lead to more questions ... like why does the DNA of
those possessed show that they are actually snakes (!)? And why is the
local pond's water made from the DNA of a certain snake from Iraq? And
what will happen to Daryl now that she has drunk of the water? And what
has Tiamat, the ancient Mesopotamian serpent Goddess of chaos, which some
of the possessed worship, do to with all of this? And what's the story of
these weirdo (Nathan Head), who's got his car full of Sumerian symbols to
ward off evil and who's following them, got to do with all of this? And
why do they suddenly find themselves on the run from the locals? And what,
indeed, is the Vatican's role in all of this?
Chronicles was easily director Philip Gardiner's biggest film thus
far, and it shows in scope: There are loads of scenes of possession, a
large cast, multiple narrative threads, special effects and whatnot
- and yet, despite the plot wading knee-deep in mythology, symbolism and
conspiracy theories (Gardiner's strengths), it never loses its plot and
follows its story through. And while all of this might sound a little like
a poor man's Da Vinci Code, it is in fact anythong but, putting its
emphasis not so much on spectacular setpieces but on its plot's underlying
atmosphere of threat (and creating atmosphere is another of Gardiner's
strengths), invariably putting mood over spectacle, creating a feeling of
unease with the audience rather than relying on mental overload - so at
the end of the day, at its heart tells a very intimate story about two
opposed characters thrown together by fate (if you can call it that)
trying to overcome odds much too powerful to overcome.
A very powerful
me in Exorcist Chronicles
Oh, by the way (and please excuse this little ego trip), the
"Michael Haberfelner" in the credits - that's actually me, I
play one of the possessed at 47.08 minutes, if I remember correctly. Now I
would call this my "15 seconds of fame", only I think my snippet
doesn't even last that long ;) - just hope I didn't destroy the movie,
because the rest is really good!
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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