The Vatican Tapes – USA, 2015



‘If you believe in God then you believe in the Devil’

The Vatican Tapes is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Mark Neveldine (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) from a screenplay by Christopher Borrelli (Whisper; Eloise), based on a story co-written with Chris Morgan. It stars Kathleen Robertson, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou and Dougray Scott.

After a young woman (Olivia Taylor Dudley) begins to express increasingly erratic and strange behaviour, her father (Dougray Scott) and boyfriend (John Patrick Amedori), along with priest Father Lozano (Michael Peña) and two Vatican exorcists (Djimon Hounsou and Peter Andersson), come to realise that she’s been taken over by an ancient satanic force. It’s all up to Father Lozano to wage war for more than just Angela’s soul, but for the world as we know it…



” … director Mark Neveldine, who is no master of dread but a dab hand at dispensing regular shocks, brings an undeniable lunatic conviction to this cheaply derivative religio-horror freakout while running up the sort of abnormally high body count you’d expect from a Die Hard sequel rather than an occult thriller. Silly, screechy and eminently watchable…” Justin Chang, Variety


“The director Mark Neveldine deploys queasy lighting and a trembling score, but his best choice is to let Ms. Dudley stare at us. She conveys unnerving shifts in self-awareness and sinister intent with her eyes. Her flick of an eyebrow or odd change in posture is more gripping than the film’s usual scare tactics.” Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

“Like technological innovation itself, the film seems overwhelmed by the reach of all its techo-cultural parts. It lends further resonance to a moment when a priest asks a young character, gesturing to a camera: “Can you plug this in?” The answer, it seems, can no longer be a simple yes or no.” Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine


“There are some eccentric jolts along the way, including a neat-looking car crash filmed from inside the wrecked vehicle, and a scene of grisly (though largely implied) violence involving two light bulbs. But for the most part, Dudley is the only thing worth hanging on to in “The Vatican Tapes.” Dudley’s performance isn’t interesting unto itself, but Neveldine is constantly trying to find new ways to get viewers to examine her face…” Simon Abrams,


“Director Neveldine, who displayed a real flair for kinetic action sequences in his previous films, has staged the proceedings with remarkably little tension, with the exorcism itself being not much more exciting than watching your local priest deliver communion. Everyone involved seems thoroughly bored, especially Pena, who looks like he’s desperate to tear off his too-tight collar.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

Cast and characters:

  • Kathleen Robertson as Doctor Richards – Psycho Beach Party; Scary Movie 2; Bates Motel
  • Michael Peña as Father Lozano
  • Djimon Hounsou as Vicar Imani – Deep Rising
  • Dougray Scott as Roger Holmes
  • John Patrick Amedori as Pete
  • Olivia Taylor Dudley as Angela
  • Tehmina Sunny as Reporter
  • Bruno Gunn as Damon
  • Daniel Bernhardt as Psych Ward Security
  • Peter Andersson as Cardinal Bruun
  • Noemi Gonzalez as Maria
  • Ashley Gibson as Ashley
  • Sam Upton as Orderly Mason
  • Alex Sparrow as Doctor Kulik
  • Jarvis W. George as Det. Simmons
  • Nilla Watkins as Pysch Ward Patient
  • Jai Stefan as Psych Ward Guard



The film was released in the US on May 22, 2015, by Lionsgate. In the UK, The Vatican Tapes was released by Signature Entertainment on October 30th in cinemas and On Demand for Halloween.