THE ASSENT (2019) Reviews and overview

  

‘It feeds on the darkness within’

The Assent is a 2019 American supernatural horror feature film about the possession of a young boy and an exorcist’s fight to save him.

Written and directed by Pearry Reginald Teo (The Curse of Sleeping Beauty; Ghosthunters; Dracula: The Dark Prince; Necromentia), the movie stars Robert Kazinsky, Peter Jason, Hannah Ward and Caden Dragomer.

Plot:

After a series of disturbing supernatural events in his home, Joel a young single father, comes to suspect that his young son Mason (Caden Dragomer) may be possessed.

Soon, Joel receives a visit from Father Lambert (Peter Jason), a controversial exorcist whose last patient died during his treatment.

As increasing chilling occurrences begin to unfold, the priest informs a resistant Joel that unless he can successfully perform an exorcism, the devil will soon take full control of his boy…

Reviews:

The Assent has a promising start with an interesting plot and disturbing images, that crashes down about midway of its runtime. It gives the impression that the script was two different ideas badly joined into one movie, creating a disparity between both halves and an ending that tries to be surprising but that can be seen coming from afar.” 10th Circle

“The set design and special effects and creature design were the only saving grace, even though the entire film looked like an extended music video […] Ultimately, what tries to be a stylized, emotionally fraught horror film comes off as insensitive fodder for a late-night view.” Cinema Axis

The Assent can’t make up its vague mind whether it wants to be a psychological thriller, family drama or demonic possession horror, failing to be either, let alone an effective blend of all three, with the end result being a lame, boring, hackneyed, and formulaic exorcism affair with atmospheric imagery, but zero scares…” CineMarvellous!

“The film did touch upon some interesting historical facts that pertained to mental health conditions being directly linked to demonic possession in the past, but they neglected to expand upon it. As a low budget feature I have to be somewhat lenient, but its major flaws stemmed from the story and the acting.  I cannot stress enough how bad the acting was.” Fear Forever

” …the film employs just enough tricks to entertain without ever really dazzling. Unfortunately, it also loses its way in the home stretch with a stubborn acknowledgment that it didn’t really seed its ending twist well enough to forego a detailed explanation. Ambitious and sufficiently terrifying, The Assent is a satisfying possession film that does an excellent job lulling audiences into its nightmare.” Goomba Stomp Sordid Cinema

“The rundown home shared by father and son is stuffed with grotesque artworks ghoulish enough to make Swiss artist H.R. Giger (Alien) shudder. The horrific visions, which Mason often tries to photograph with a Polaroid camera, are depicted with split color effects that call to mind old 3D red and blue glasses. Despite the obviously low budget, the filmmaker conjures up many creepily effective visuals.” The Hollywood Reporter

“The special effects are either cartoony (Mason’s spinning eyeballs look like a Scary Movie gag) or painful (an anaglyph hue occupies Joel’s intense visions), and the hokey practical effects look as if they are literally coming apart at the seams (most notably an awkward creature that looks like a fleshy sack of potatoes with paper-mâché faces). The inclusion of a controversial priest (Peter Jason) and his assistant (Douglas Spain) make the film more cheesy…” Wylie Writes

Release:

The Assent premiered at the 2019 Toronto After Dark film festival on October 23rd 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Robert Kazinsky … Joel
  • Peter Jason … Father Lambert
  • Hannah Ward … Cassie
  • Caden Dragomer … Mason
  • Douglas Spain … Brother Michael
  • Eileen Dietz … Rhonda
  • Margarita Reyes … Sarah
  • Ashton Riordan Teo … Shadow Demon
  • Lais Pedroso … Mom
  • Megan Henry … Miss Robertson
  • Sarah Schultz … Radio Caller
  • Luca Bleu Darnell … Possessed Boy
  • William “Will” Daubert … Corrections Officer
  • Austin McMains … Mason (Grown-up)
  • Josh Schultz … Man In Diner / Radio Host

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