Thursday, February 15, 2007

Legion of the Liar (2007)

An experimental, stylistic film about exorcism, Legion of the Liar succeeds in setting up a creepy and foreboding atmosphere.

A large, bearded man is seen hacking up bloody body parts from a bucket. He asks the viewer, "What do you see?" From there, we are taken to an abandoned, heavily decaying mental institution. A cassette tape begins to play and a patient named Eve starts to speak. A priest is with her and we learn Eve is beset by demons. The priest prepares for an exorcism. While the tape plays and the exorcism is performed, we are given glimpses of Eve's past. Interspersed are scenes of the institution and strange disturbing images. There is a man shackled to a chair with a bag over his head, a ghostly girl with a bloodied face, old mourning photos, a man with his face peeled off, two bloody girls licking a lollipop, human skulls, crosses, maggots squirming in blood, ghouls, demons and of course a serpent. Here is the struggle between good and evil for Eve's eternal soul.

Legion of the Liar is a creepy, intriguing film that artistically portrays the spiritual warfare between the minions of hell and the messengers of heaven. It is shot like an art house film, which focuses more on imagery and emotions than a straight narrative. In this case, the film is very effective, creating a tense, scary atmosphere through visually stunning photography. It impresses with its gritty and grainy look, adding style to its high tension. The demonic voices coming from Eve and the subtle but unsettling noises throughout the film add to the spectacularly spooky feel, as does the minimalist score, which consists of an organ and a wonderful string section.

My only complaint with the film is the anti-climactic ending, as I was expecting something with a little more punch. The end might also be a little heavy-handed for some viewers.

If you loathe art house flicks that tend to be slower than typical horror and would rather see buckets of blood and boobies, skip this one. It is no where near what you're looking for...On the other hand, if you enjoy highly atmospheric horror and/or films dealing with exorcism, I highly recommend checking out this film. It definitely scared the beejesus outta me!

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