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Home > Eli Roth’s Legion of Exorcists (2023): A Review

Eli Roth’s Legion of Exorcists (2023): A Review

The Legion of Exorcists

Eli Roth's The Legion of Exorcists Wreaks Insidious Disaster on the Heart

For millennia, people have been curious about spirits taking over the living. It’s scary and intriguing all at the same time. When legendary director and executive producer Eli Roth announced his new series, Eli Roth’s The Legion of Exorcists, it became a must-see series. A group of exorcists get together and discuss their past exorcism cases. Produced by Marwar Junction Productions and Entertainment One for the Travel Channel, this six-episode series is sure to be an instant hit since it shows reality-based examples of exorcisms. This first episode was released on June 1,  with Brian Knappmiller directing all six episodes. 

A Bunch of Exorcists are an Eye-Opening Heaven Sent 

Two stories are told in the series premiere. The first is a story about a haunted item, as an antique dealer becomes obsessed with a clown doll that has a dangerous attachment. The other members of the dealer’s family realize right away that something isn’t right. Immediately scary things begin to happen. This doll has the ability to do things that seem unbelievable. Finally, the antique dealer realizes they are in serious peril, and she calls in one of the exorcists for help. The plot is coherent, and it moves along at a good pace. One interesting way the plot differs from other exorcist shows is that the story starts from the middle and then moves to start from the beginning. It still makes sense, it’s just a creative way to pull the audience in and tell the whole story. The plot makes sense, and the tone is what you’d expect from this kind of storyline. The setting and atmosphere are both creepy and somewhat sad. The aesthetic is dark and spine-chilling. 

The second story in the series premiere is also about a cursed object. This object was a family heirloom, a box that had been given to the second family by an evil stepmother. Unlike the previous haunting by the doll, this demon would move from the box and from person to person. This story’s exorcist is a female reverend who reveals that the box is a transient possession. The plot, much like the story before, begins in the middle, then moves to start from the beginning. It works well. The pacing is fine, and the setting and atmosphere are not as dark as the first story. Most of the scenes take place in daylight. This story is still hair-raising. It’s scary to think these things could really happen.   

The Legion of Exorcists

The Actors Deliver Faith, Satisfaction Guaranteed 

Actors are integral to creating the atmosphere and believability of the setting. In this show, the actors playing exorcists are essential to creating the fear factor. Featured actors in these two stories include Laura Baggett, known for her part in The Clinic (2018), and Natalie Daniels, known for Hawaii Five-0 (2010). For the most part, the actors portraying the family members do a good job. Sometimes it can seem that they are overacting. 

The biggest problem is the over-acting of the exorcists. The acting seems cheesy at times, which takes away from the show’s believability, as an essence of realism is needed to protect the show’s scare factor. Rita D. Floria, who starred in films such as Like Poison (2021) and Stand Your Ground (2013), plays Reverend Rita Strugala. Paul Sinacore plays Father Art, is known for several uncredited projects, and usually works as a casting director. As exorcists, both Floria and Sinacore’s portrayals feel like they’re over-acting. Maybe they were doing it to work on the creepiness, but it didn’t work as much as they had hoped. It is scary to do what these exorcists are doing. 

The Aesthetic is the Eye-Opening Challenge  

In Eli Roth’s The Legion of Exorcists, the cinematography is fast-moving. Sometimes the pictures are sped up to add in some extra hair-raising benefits. It makes the story appear more supernatural by having the actors appear unnaturally quick as they move. There are moments when the scene vibrates, which also seems to appear supernatural. The soundtrack has a lot of deep notes and breathing that can seem foreboding. Lots of synthesizers, chimes, and deep bass drums create trepidation. All of this equals terrifying. The cinematography tells the stories well. It was fast when necessary and slowed down to highlight necessary feelings of sadness. There are several parts where the scenes include demon-like hands to emphasize what should be feared. The hands were not realistic and looked like generic monster hands that appear in many horror movies and television shows. These hands made the scenario less believable due to them looking so generic.

Finally, the Devastating, Hair Raising of It All 

After considering all that’s been analyzed, this first episode is still able to draw in viewers with bone-chilling, goosebump-inducing fun. Despite the fact that some things could have been done better, the episode still provides plenty of frightening scares. Definitely, one that would be fun to stream and rewatch with family and friends and a big bucket of popcorn. But always remember to wear your extra large hoodie to hide your eyes when the demon comes to find you. 

Watch this new series on Travel Channel GO, Max, Hulu, or Discovery+. 

Eli Roth's The Legion of Exorcists

Eli Roth’s The Legion of Exorcists (2023) Official Marwar Productions/Entertainment One Trailer

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Elke Simmons' writing portfolio includes contributions to The Laredo Morning Times, Walt Disney World Eyes and Ears, Extinction Rebellion (XR) News/Blog, and Dead Talk News.