Unspeakable tragedies are happening in a Mexican border town. Infants and children are being murdered on an unbelievable scale. No place is safe; nurseries, schools, movie theaters. The officer assigned to investigate is close to the case, his newborn son was killed during the nursery attack. When an ominous figure is identified around the area of each tragedy, the Paranormal Forensics Division is called in to help. They soon discover that all these events are related, and they are directed toward finding and killing one specific child, a child that may be the key to the world’s salvation, the next coming of the messiah. And the ominous figure, an excommunicated priest expelled from the church for practicing satanic rituals, may be the child’s only hope for survival against the evils pursuing it.
Belzebuth was a new take on the possession sub-genre and the coming end-of-days. They didn’t overdo it with over the top CGI and used practical effects and strong acting performances from Joaquin Cosio (Quantum of Solace, Savages) and Tate Ellington (Sinister 2, Quantico). Throw in Tobin Bell (Manson Family Vacation, Gates of Darkness, Saw) as the excommunicated priest that specializes in demonology and you have an actor-driven exorcism movie. The story centers around Tobin Bell trying to find and save the next coming of the messiah from “the Enemy,” and allow him to grow up and fulfill the prophecy. I’ll warn viewers, the first 15 minutes of this movie is heavy. There is a lot of death, particularly infant and child death, in situations that are very sensitive to some. It seems the Enemy will stop at nothing to find this one child.
He even offers Cosio’s character, Lieutenant Ritter, to return something very precious to him if he would just sacrifice the one child. And I didn’t know the Paranormal Forensics Division was a thing, but where do I sign up? Not sure if it is a division of the FBI or the Vatican, but I’m on board.
There was very little use of CGI effects, mainly trusting the creepiness to ambient sounds, distorted voices, and good practical make-up and effects. The use of jump-scares was held to a minimum, which is nice for a movie like this. While the search for the messiah or Antichrist is not a unique plot-line, the writers were able to throw in a few different takes on it; like why the first Crusade was launched. All-in-all, this was a pretty good movie that didn’t disappoint, wasn’t slowed down by info dumps of exposition, maintained the tension through good acting, and Tobin Bell being a bad-ass expelled priest-demonologist.
Will watch again.
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