The Mexican Exorcist
No Halloween season would be complete without a good old fashioned exorcism. Ever since the masterful 1973 movie The Exorcist, there’s been many challengers to that horror title and very few – if any – have come close.
Next to test its credentials in the horror-themed ring is Mexican movie Day Of The Lord. Armed with a by-the-numbers predictable screenplay and a relatively swift 90 minute run-time, this movie does have a couple of nice moments but for the most part is a largely formulaic and forgettable movie.
The first half of the plot essentially works as a character-study, getting us up to scratch on our two central characters whom the plot-line revolves around. You’ve got your conflicted and troubled priest Menéndez and tearaway teenager Raquel whose Father believes is possessed.
Menéndez in particular is an interesting character, a man haunted by the ghosts of his past following a previous exorcism with a young boy. Propped up by a heady blend of alcohol and strange phantom phone calls, Menéndez is given a second chance thanks to his friend and colleague Sebas claiming his daughter is possessed.
Convinced that “the devil is in my daughter”, Sebas brings Raquel over to the Menéndez house to stay. Most of this takes up a good chunk of the run-time, taking its sweet time to get to the good stuff as it eases into our main plot-line.
The second half of the movie changes the game slightly into a more predictable romp, complete with violence, gore and the usual exorcism shenanigans one would expect from this genre. It’s all pretty predictable stuff and it’s matched by an equally simple character arc for Menéndez across the movie’s run-time.
Personally, I feel like they missed a trick with this priest, making his confliction a little obvious where perhaps a different direction could have made him more fascinating as a character. However, the movie’s final scenes seem to hint at a sequel which – if green-lit- could change the game completely so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that.
While there isn’t anything inherently bad about Day Of The Lord, there really isn’t anything particularly outstanding or amazing either. Sure, there’s a couple of violent and shocking scenes late on but mostly this film builds up slowly without much in the way of a pay-off to make that time investment worth it.
Still, if you’re in the mood for a by-the-numbers exorcism movie then this may just be your jam. For everyone else, this is one possession that’s probably best leaving alone for the foreseeable future.