"The Visitation" DVD
You ever work with a
guy who just found religion?
They have this weird
tendency to get all preachy and suchlike, and it's even
weirder if the guy also happens to be really good at his job. Management's
never gonna throw him out on his ear no matter how much prosetylizing
does--he's just too good at what he does to get rid of.
That's exactly what happened
with "The Visitation", the second movie from
Frank Peretti's weird line of Christian horror fiction in recent
first being "Hangman's Curse."
Curse" was more for the teenage set, "The Visitation"
full-blown adult tale, as evidenced by the presence of both Randy
most people under twenty don't pay much attention to, and Edward
will make anyone under the age of twenty scream in terror at the
But anyway, what's going
on here is a little old-fashioned tent revival
meeting in the sleepy little town of Antioch. Yes, just like the
this revival meeting is going to get a lot of people questioning
thoughts on the end of the world, miracle healings, and the very
And who's leading this
tent meeting? Billy Graham? Parson Pat Robertson?
Oh no, folks. Oh no. It's being led by our very own Edward Furlong.
Which is scary enough
to begin with. Looking at Eddie, who has somehow
managed to at least LOOK fatter since his time in The Asylum's
"Intermedio"--which isn't hard, frankly. Eddie started
out looking like a
gray, sallow drug addict. Now he just looks like a CHUBBY drug addict.
Even better, while Eddie's running the tent revival down on some
woman's farm, the Face of Jesus has appeared, clearly, in a mildew
stain on a
hotel bathroom wall. Plus, a crucifix Jesus in a Catholic church
is crying tears that heal people's injuries. Possibly angelic beings
using beer-transporting minors to announce their coming, and to
top it all
off, guys are getting liquored up and burying dogs that in short
back from the dead.
Yeah, it's like some
creepy redux of "Un Chien Andalou" out here in Antioch.
And with Eddie at the helm I TOTALLY follow.
Now, the really baffling
thing about "The Visitation" is that it somehow
manages to be a nice suspenseful thriller despite the sheer amount
religious kookery (check out the panic at twenty minutes ten seconds
weeping Jesus) we've got crammed into it.
And perhaps the best
part of all, "The Visitation" may now claim a record all
its own. Like I said earlier, Randy Travis is in this sucker, and
playing a Pentecostal minister.
I don't know how many
movies involving exorcisms you've seen, but in most of
them I've seen, it takes three Catholic priests like days or weeks
at a clip
just to get one demon expelled from a victim.
Randy Travis can do it
with ONE SENTENCE.
Oh yeah. Where the Catholics
are chanting and dumping water on the victim
from little crystal vials, Randy just strolls on up, lays a hand
victim's forehead and says "And Jesus said, leave this man,
spirit" (or something similar) and BOOM! This flood of CGI
guessing they're flies--they're little black dots that make a buzzing
pours out of the victim's mouth and dissipates in the air above
can claim to its credit the land speed record for exorcisms.Somewhere,
Father Karras is smacking his forehead and yelling to an empty
room "Bloody Hell! Why didn't I think of that??"
The ending is pretty
standard for Peretti--it compares to "Hangman's Curse"
in that it introduces a nice big honking chunk of secular explanation
confuse how much of what you're seeing is demonic and how much is
Plus it features a lot of Eddie screaming. Which is not fun.
The special features
are limited to a trailer for "End of the Spear" and
English and Spanish subtitles.
All in all, "The
Visitation" is a surprisingly good and suspenseful thriller,
and it would have been better if it hadn't been for the sheer choking
of religious kookery gumming up the works. Despite the fact that
it's got so
many religious nuts in it that you'll think it's just a particularly
bad installment of "The 700 Club," it still manages to
at least work as a
suspense thriller. At least no one's calling for any governments
GRADE: 2 stars **
Directed by Robby Henson
Written by Frank Peretti, Brian Godawa
Starring Martin Donovan, Edward Furlong, Kelly Lynch, Randy Travis
Produced by Joe Goodman, Ralph Winter, Bobby Neutz
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