Nefarious (movie)

I took advantage of the family being away on other business to see Nefarious in the theater today.

I will assume anyone interested has either seen the trailer or generally knows the premise, so I’m not going to do any recap.

When I first saw the movie trailer, I didn’t realize this is a Christian movie. Having seen it now, I can see why they were under spiritual attack during the production. I concur with their assessment. It is not a movie the demons want you to see.

Is it a good movie?

Well… it lacks subtly, for sure. However, after chewing on it for a bit, I think that works to its favor. For one thing, it’s a movie, not a miniseries; there really isn’t time for subtlety in the movie. And even within the story the forthrightness can be seen as part of the demon’s plan without too much effort, I suppose.

The demon in the movie is rather more forthcoming than a real one would be, but I suppose that works in the movie.

For me it succeeds more as a horror movie than some real horror movies because while it is fiction, I can only imagine how many times the basic premise has played out in real life over and over. I find those things more horrible in practice than movies about the world or galaxy or universe being threatened because I know that it actually happens. I can see why other reviewers more used to conventional horror would be less impressed.

The acting is fairly solid. Sean Patrick Flanery does a solid job on a hard task.

And of course, we can’t ignore the the Rotten Tomatoes endorsement of Critics 33%, Audience 96%. I mean, they don’t mean it as an endorsement, but…

All in all, my initial impressions are probably around an 8/10. Recommend with the reservation that it is intense at times. Definitely something that sticks with you after you walk out. As a movie I have to admit I see the critic’s point, but as a reminder of what’s at stake, it’s disturbingly good.

Also, I would submit the ending, while superficially cliched, actually raises an interesting question many of the critics probably missed: The psychiatrist thinks he’s broken out of what the demon wanted him to do… but… did he?

**Edit, two days later**: Spoilers and follow-up on the click-through.

I found a video on YouTube that confirmed some of my suspicions are indeed on purpose. This was adapted from a book, and the demon is indeed deliberately showing off to his master that America has been thoroughly neutered precisely because he can be open about his plan and nobody will do anything about it.

The other thing I want to hide behind a spoiler tag is that at the end, the psychiatrist thinks he escaped and didn’t write the book the demon wanted. However, he is also not a believer in Jesus at that point. I believe this was deliberately plotted, that he did not escape, and that the most likely scene that follows after the end of the movie is either his murder by the homeless woman or his re-possession.

Very well done. I often find myself having to do a mental double-take when I encounter something tightly-plotted, because it is so rare. This is one of those cases; the “holes” are quite deliberate and not holes at all.

An Alternate Bi-Cameral Mind KoMoL Book 1, Chapters 16 through 18