BELZEBUTH movie poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

BELZEBUTH movie poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Tobin Bell, Tate Ellington, Joaquin Cosio, Yunuen Pardo, Liam Villa, Jose Sefami
Writers: Luis Carlos Fuentes & Emilio Portes
Director: Emilio Portes
Distributor: RLJE Films
Release Date (U.S. DVD, Blu-ray, Digital): July 7, 2020

BELZEBUTH is the name of a demon wreaking havoc in an unnamed town in Mexico. It’s also a pretty good horror movie, in Spanish and English, although it’s got almost zero sense of humor. This may be a necessity, because unlike a lot of tales of demonic possession, about halfway through, a character explains exactly why this is happening here. The exposition may strike various viewers as interesting, or blasphemous, or gonzonana, or some combination of all three. Any levity here would blow the whole enterprise off-course. (Although something that will strike many people as amusing, intentionally funny or not, is the ease with which crossing the Mexico/U.S. border is accomplished. Wall, schmall.)

We are told in voiceover that “in 2010, cases of possession began to increase exponentially.” This is accompanied by footage of a man in strange garb (Tobin Bell, of the SAW franchise) wandering alone.

BELZEBUTH introduces us to police lieutenant and new father Emmanuel Ritter (Joaquin Cosio). He is almost immediately struck by horrendous tragedy. Five years later, we see that he has suffered another devastating blow.

Still, Ritter soldiers on at his detective job. When there’s a kindergarten shooting by a slightly older child, Ritter and his loyal partner, Demetriou Bautista (Jose Sefami), are sent to investigate. Then there’s another horrific incident involving children and an American team of psychic investigators – or, as Ritter calls them “pain in the ass gringos” – show up with some ideas of what’s going on.

In a twist that will be welcome (at least to audiences who are desperate for a break from the white savior horror subgenre), the head of the American group, Ivan Franco (Tate Ellington), is not a big, take-charge action hero type. Instead, he’s simply a scholarly tech nerd with some insight. When it seems like Ivan may know what he’s talking about, Ritter warily starts to cooperate.

BELZEBUTH movie poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

BELZEBUTH movie poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

Director Emilio Portes and his co-writer Luis Carlos Fuentes manage to maintain a dead serious tone, even in some set pieces that might easily play for laughs. They also have that whammy of a central premise that takes a moment to process. Because the filmmakers are so committed to the material, and because Cosio is so honest and skillful (he was the wrestler in multiple seasons of THE STRAIN), it winds up being fairly affecting.

There are a lot of good scares in BELZEBUTH, as well as some potent gore gags. It should be noted that the violence against young children takes place out of frame. Still, viewers should take heed if they may be so conceptually upset by this aspect of the film that everything else is going to pale beside it. Even for those who can take this on board, it’s still disturbing. This may be a line-crosser for some people, or at very least the start of a discussion about whether there are certain story elements that automatically remove a film from the realm of popular entertainment.

This large caveat aside, BELZEBUTH is creepy, bloody, moves well and has an original narrative vision.

Related: Movie Review: JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
Related: Movie Review: FOUR KIDS AND IT
Related: Movie Review: FOLLOWED
Related: Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT
Related: Movie Review: MISS JUNETEENTH
Related: Movie Review: DRIVEN
Related: Movie Review: THE SURROGATE
Related: Movie Review: THE COLLINI CASE
Related: Movie Review: DREAMLAND
Related: Movie Review: SHIRLEY
Related: Movie Review: JUDY &  PUNCH
Related: Movie Review: END OF SENTENCE
Related: Movie Review: EQUAL STANDARD
Related: Movie Review: EVIL LITTLE THINGS
Related: Movie Review: VALLEY GIRL (2020)
Related: Movie Review: TROLLS WORLD TOUR
Related: Movie Review: SEA FEVER
Related: Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
Related: Movie Review: VIVARIUM
Related: Movie Review: BLOODSHOT
Related: Movie Review: THE POSTCARD KILLINGS
Related: Movie Review: THE BANKER
Related: Movie Review: ONWARD
Related: Movie Review: RUN THIS TOWN
Related: Movie Review: ESCAPE FROM PRETORIA
Related: Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)
Related: Movie Review: FANTASY ISLAND
Related: Movie Review: COME TO DADDY
Related: Movie Review: THE LODGE
Related: Movie Review: THE GENTLEMEN
Related: Movie Review: THREE CHRISTS
Related: Movie Review: CLEMENCY
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE WOMEN
Related: Movie Review: 1917
Related: Movie Review: JUST MERCY
Related: Movie Review: BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)
Related: Movie Review: RICHARD JEWELL
Related: Movie Review: DANIEL ISN’T REAL
Related: Movie Review: LITTLE JOE
Related: Movie Review: KNIVES OUT
Related: Movie Review: QUEEN & SLIM
Related: Movie Review: FROZEN II

Follow us on Twitter at ASSIGNMENT X
Like us on Facebook at ASSIGNMENT X

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: BELZEBUTH

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

CAPTCHA Image
*

Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com
bottom round