To be honest, with a title like that and a tagline like “God and the Devil cannot exist in the same body,” it is understandable that aficionados of the genre would lump The Exorcism of God in with other exorcism films. However, we at Marvelous Videos strongly advise you not to make that mistake. Alejandro Hidalgo’s supernatural horror legal drama film is a frightful and absolutely wild adventure that ingeniously and jarringly re-invents the genre. The film, which was co-written by Hidalgo, Santiago Fernández, and Calvete, is an interesting and refreshing change of pace in terms of its narrative, with an unexpected plot twist that you will not see coming!
So get ready for today’s video, in which we will be looking at Hidalgo’s The Exorcism of God. It will be a fascinating in-depth analysis of the film, so do not be shy about sharing your thoughts on it in the comments area.
Are you prepared? Let us get this party started!
God And The Devil Cannot Exist In The Same Body – The Exorcism Of God (2022)
The year is 2003; a distressed man is seen driving through the roads of Nombre de Dios in the middle of the night and reaching out to the local priest. He tells him it is a serious matter and takes him along with him back to his house. As Father Peter Williams steps inside the room, it is a messed-up situation; everything is either broken down or shattered. He finally comes face to face with the succubus tied to a bed and judging by the condition of the possessed woman, she surely will not be able to endure longer.
Peter calls up Father Michael who forbids him to perform an exorcism on the woman telling him that he is not ready and warning him of the consequences. But waiting for Father Michael to arrive after two days and then carry out the exorcism is equivalent to giving the woman the death sentence, therefore, Peter decides to perform the exorcism all by himself. However, as he begins to, the demon-possessed woman lures him just enough to have him lose control, fall for its temptation, and commit a blasphemous act. He is also seen temporarily getting possessed by the entity before the scene cuts to black.
It has been 18 years since that incident; having associated himself with charity work for the needy as well as children, Peter is doing his best to keep his guilt suppressed deep down. He is loved, admired, and respected by the local people, at times even regarded as a ‘saint’. Post admitting a sick child to a hospital under his care, he learns from the nurse about the death of another child. All his children, in particular, seem to be affected by some kind of a strange lethal virus.
Losing four children in a week definitely felt like a punishment from the Lord and he is seen blaming himself for everything that’s happening to the children. As he discusses his past actions with Dr. Nelson, the latter tells him it happened only because he was possessed. But Peter holds himself liable, calling himself weak and stating that he has still not been able to forgive himself for what he has done.
The audience also learns that he tried to own up to his sins post his sacrilegious act but did not have the guts to go through with it – confessing his sins to the bishop. Instead, he surrounded his life around the church, the children, and the orphanage. In order to find peace and have God forgive him, Peter decides to confess his sins again and travels to Mexico City to visit Monsignor Balducci.
But with the Vatican rewarding him with cash for his humanitarian aid, he isn’t able to carry out his initial plan of confessing his past actions. Peter is seen coming back to the hospital with medicine and medical equipment; while he is applauded by everyone at the hospital, there was no stopping him from having his regular nightmares, ones that perpetually reminded him of his former actions. Post having a particular nightmare of a possessed Jesus attacking him, he gets a call from the Sagrado Corazon prison. The warden informs him about a troubled prisoner, one who has asked for him personally.
With Peter visiting the penitentiary to examine Esperanza, the disturbed prisoner, the warden tells him about her charges, how she bled a man to death, hanged him from a tree, and had his head turned completely backward. Before entering her cell, Peter is warned about her being very aggressive and strong so as to maintain a certain distance from her. Once they enter, all it takes Peter is a split second to realize that the demon he had tried to expel 18 years ago is back to torment him again.
To make things even worse, Esperanza is also disclosed to be the daughter of both Peter and Magali. When Peter tries explaining to Magali that he was possessed, the latter tells him to expel the demon out of Esperanza’s body as an act of redemption. Later that night, Peter is seen having another dreadful nightmare. Speaking of his terrifying dreams, they are only getting worse and he is seen waking up screaming in horror and gasping for breath.
Back at the hospital, there has been a total death of five children now. The children have all been made to undergo every kind of test that is there and with no signs of affected organs or a virus, one just cannot detect the real reason behind their sudden deaths. Not wanting to waste further time, Peter visits Monsignor Balducci again and fills him in with details of Esperanza. Balducci approves Peter to perform an exorcism and the latter seeks his permission to have Father Michael join him this time.
With the arrival of Michael in Mexico, the audience gets to know about the demon’s actual name, Balban. We also learn that Michael had not only faced the demon before but had also defeated it. Peter decides to tell him his side of the story – that he was never able to defeat it. It does not take Michael much time to realize that Balban would not have left without taking Peter’s soul but because he carries God inside, he was able to expel the demon.
Later that night, Peter throws away the 2003 Magali-recorded exorcism tape into the fire and as he watches it burn, he is flooded by memories of that particular night. With Balban possessing Peter, the then unconscious Magali was victim to the carnal lust of the possessed Peter. Of course, Peter was able to expel the demon but by then the profane act was already carried out. As for Magali’s family, Peter was literally a saint to them and the rest as we all know is history.
Upon seeing Peter awake, Michael offers him mescal, stating it as the best holy water that he has tasted in a while. Next, he asks him about his nightmares and Peter tells him about his recurring dream, one where he sees a possessed Jesus. Of course, this is alarming, even for Michael, and he tells Peter that it’s Balban’s way of showing that he wants to possess him. Apparently, Balban had even attempted to possess Jesus Christ about 2000 years ago but he was defeated. Michael further tells Peter about Balban being a demon with a noble lineage, one with legions of henchmen all under his command thus indicating that if he is calling Peter, he most certainly has a purpose behind it.
While the duo is seen conversing, one of the nuns, Sister Camila, whilst offering her prayers initially has blood dripped on her face and then gets pulled into a dark doorway. The possessed nun is almost about to attack the children when Magali intervenes her from doing so. But of course, she is no match for her; had Michael and Peter not interrupted, Magali would have certainly been choked to death by the possessed. With Michael takes a closer look at the terrified children, he finds all of them infected. Worried, he decides to give the possessed Esperanza another visit at the hellhole penitentiary and this time with Michael.
Michael is absolutely disgusted to see the terrible condition of the prison and even more appalled to see the possessed. Telling Peter not to fall for her tricks, Michael strikes up a conversation with the demon asking him to prove if he is really from ‘down there. With Balban not reacting to his statement, he tells the rest that there is no demon there and decides to go have mescal instead.
That provokes the possessed just enough to shut the cell door and then puke a considerable amount of slimy green liquid on Michael. This does not stop Michael from further insulting him, calling him predictable and the lowliest kind. Balban is enraged enough to attack Michael and it’s only after Esperanza is injected with a sedative shot that they are able to control the demon. Looking at the level of destruction that the possessed is capable of wreaking, Peter asks the warden to empty the prison and transfer the rest of the inmates somewhere else but with the warden being adamant about the prisoners staying put, Dr. Nelson comes up with the idea of putting all of the inmates to sleep jabbing them with a sleeping sedative.
With everyone making the necessary arrangements and setting up the final place for the exorcism to take place, Michael warns Peter about Balban being the demon of deceit and that one should no matter what never make a deal with it. Knowing that the conventional rituals will have no effect on Balban, Michael makes some rather special arrangements for the demon. With the guards leaving for the day, the trio of Michael, Peter, and Dr. Nelson begin their work.
Knowing Balban, he is certainly one who likes to play tricks and it goes without saying that he too has plans for the trio. After effortlessly locking Michael and Peter into the very containment cell, he attacks Dr. Nelson. Of course, he opens the cell once he is finished with the doctor. Peter and Michael start looking for Nelson only to realize that every cell gate has been opened. Post discovering a fatally wounded Nelson, who tells them to run, the duo is pursued by the now possessed inmates as well as Esperanza.
With Peter and Michael securing themselves inside a room, for the time being, Michael questions the former why his prayers are not working. On further asking him about his sins, Peter tells him about Esperanza and it dawns upon Michael that she is his daughter. When Peter asks Michael to exorcise Balban as he had done before, he admits to Peter that he had to make a deal with Balban, sell his soul and lose all power over him just so as to save the possessed child. Before dying, Michael tells Peter how Balban will try his best and tempt him by using Peter’s biggest weakness but at no cost should Peter make a deal with him.
Mustering up courage, Peter talks about his past actions, his forbidden desires, the suppressed guilt, how he broke his vows with God and had Balban take advantage of his weakness, and of course, the fruit of the sin, his daughter Esperanza. He records every statement on his phone camera and despite being well aware of the consequences, he still sends the clip to Bishop Balducci. With a reignited faith that he had been lacking all this while, he is able to tackle the possessed inmates that come advancing toward him. Next, he encounters the possessed Christ who is first seen dragging his cross and then running towards him.
Right when he is about to take a huge leap at him, Peter is able to subdue him by making him ‘kneel before God’. He reminds everyone that it is God who commands them only to get attacked by another possessed inmate from behind. When he regains his consciousness, he finds himself tied to a chair.
Balban is seen torturing Peter, burning his forehead with a cross. When Peter tells him that God is within him, Balban laughs and tells him that is why he is going to take God out of him. Balban even begins to offer his prayers to Satan telling God to leave Peter’s body. This leads to the condition of the infected children aggravating further; they violently start shaking on their beds and as for Sister Camila, she is attacked again by what seems to be a possessed Mother Mary.
Back at the penitentiary, Peter starts fighting back. Even in his incapacitated form, he regains his faith and performs an exorcism demanding Lucifer’s slave to free his daughter right away. This enrages Balban to an extreme where he starts strangling Peter screaming at him to let him in.
But Peter is not the one to give up, not anymore. This leaves Balban to give Peter a choice between Esperanza or the children back at the hospital. Meanwhile, the kids at the hospital start dying one after the other. Unable to choose, Peter asks Balban what is it that he really wants. That’s when Balban tells him that he wants God to exit his body and if Peter does it, all of the children will be saved. He even tells him that he will free Esperanza. With Peter making the inevitable deal, all of the children come back to life. Peter is seen taking out a whimpering Esperanza in the sun.
A few days later, Peter is seen preaching a sermon at the church. Right after his speech ends, he is showered with heavy applause, it is clear that he is literally regarded as a saint by the people. Bishop Balducci pays him a visit and when Peter asks him about the video, he tells him that he deleted it further stating to him that their confession is bound by the sacred seal and that his actions reached some rather significant ears.
He informs him about a job as a special counselor that’s waiting for him at the Vatican. Just then Esperanza comes to Peter to seek his blessings and while Peter does that, it eventually becomes quite clear that he is still possessed by Balban. With Balducci addressing Peter as Prince Balban, the latter addresses ‘himself’ as a living saint. In fact, when he looks at Esperanza, he realizes Heaven has played its cards too and wonders how did he not see that coming. Deciding to deal with Esperanza or in other words, God’s new chosen one later he leaves with Balducci.
The movie ends with Father Peter reaching the Vatican and a voice-over of Peter stating, “the evil ones will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will inherit the earth.”
Why Should You Watch the Movie?
Fans of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist are bound to love the opening scene of Hidalgo’s horror flick, one that happens to be a direct tribute to one of the most popular scenes of the 1973 supernatural horror movie. The Exorcism of God has a multitude of effective scares; sequences such as the possessed Jesus dragging the cross or let’s say the scene that has a sister suddenly getting pulled into a dark doorway – we know they are subtle but they work and that’s what matters. Hats off to Hidalgo and the other co-writers for actually coming up with a movie that is daring does not shy away from displaying gore and has its standalone weight as well as direction.