By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-

When I first viewed Pantelion Films’ trailer for The Vatican Tapes earlier this year, it did intrigue me as I learned Michael Peña (Ant – Man, Cesar Chavez, American Hustle, End of Watch), portrays Father Lozano, the local priest in the community where  27-year-old Angela Holmes (Olivia Taylor Dudley – Transcendence, Chernobyl Diaries) resides. I anticipated the script to have many of the same scenes from prior possession films and it does. Some of the scenes are predictable when Angela changes personality and displays a side of her neither her father, Roger (Dougray Scott (Taken 3, Hitman, Mission: Impossible II), nor boyfriend, Pete (John Patrick Amedori), manages to handle very well. Who would when you are under attack? The film is directed by Mark Neveldine (Crank) and the screenplay is by Christopher Borrelli and Michael C. Martin, based on a story by Borrelli and Chris Morgan. Overall, I like the film despite some of the predictability, but I do anticipate there can be a sequel in the works. I certainly think audiences who like this genre of film will wait for one because of the action.

The story reveals Angela’s possession proves more to be more than what can be handled alone by Father Lozano. It requires the help of additional leaders from the Vatican, Vicar Imani (Djimon Hounsou –Guadians of the Galaxy, Blood Diamond, Gladiator) and Cardinal Bruun (Peter Andersson – In Order of Disappearance, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The demon is a force that starts to reveal itself one way, but ultimately, even with several people helping Angela in the battle against evil, challenges exist.  Is the evil really gone or just lurking in a new shiny package ready to wreak havoc on the world?

The film boasts a list of talented cast members, and their performances are not in question at all. I think it is what elevates the film from the usual scenes that are anticipated during someone’s possession.

Are you are on the bench unable to decide, because you think you’ve already seen it all? To find out, go see the film. I recommend don’t pass it up – just go view it in theaters during a matinee. The PG-13 rated film will release theatrically on July 24, 2015 in Austin theaters.

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