Reviewed by: Brad Kibler
I was disappointed by this supernatural thriller. I had built up in my mind an expectation of the potential this film had, but it left me dismayed. I’ve come to expect more from Denzel Washington (“The Preacher’s Wife”, “Courage Under Fire”) who plays the lead role of Detective John Hobbes. Even the ending, which is intended to be a surprising twist, was somewhat predictable.
Det. Hobbes is the lead investigator of a serial killer who is executed by the state of Pennsylvania at the beginning of the film. The problem is that the man is not responsible for the deaths. The guilty party is Azazel, the demon possessing him. The story revolves around the cop and the demon battling to defeat each other.
The film’s worldview regarding demons is described mostly by Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz) a theology professor at an unnamed University. Many of the beliefs about the supernatural that this movie uses as it’s basis are flawed. Most of their “facts” about the spirit world seem to have been pulled out of a hat rather than based on the Truth. Jesus taught that if we are filled with the Spirit of God that we cannot also be inhabited by demons, one of many facts which this film ignores. Suffice it to say that this film did not make an effort to stay true to Scripture.
Hobbes' conversations with his partner Jonesy (John Goodman) often reflect a pseudo-religious belief system. Hobbes says he goes to church “now and then” but claims “Faith is hard to sustain” in his line of work. He refuses to believe in a God that cares for us each personally because “There’s more than 5 billion of us running around here like ants… Do you care about whether ants live or die?” God DOES care about each one of us (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9)!
TOPIC OF INTEREST
Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer…
The film doesn’t have as much dialogue as most other films, but manages to include in excess of 40 vulgarities and profanities of all kinds. This film also contains violent content which can be a bit unsettling even for adult viewers (a man being executed in the gas chamber, people being shot at close range, and other action-style violence). There was some vulgar sexual conversation, but no nudity or sexual situations.
If you choose to see this film, don’t take the kids. It promotes incorrect views of Christianity and contains extreme language and violence.