Did You See The Daring True Story Exorcism Movie Made In Amarillo?
Once in a while you come across a film that surprises you, stuns you, leaves you wondering just where this film has been your entire life. It checks all the boxes and hits the sweet spot.
Have you ever seen the 2020 "cinematic masterpiece" that is The Exorcism in Amarillo?
Let's Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
First of all, I've never made a movie. I don't have first hand knowledge of the level of guts it takes to write, film, produce, edit, score, get distribution, cast, do wardrobe and makeup, and everything else for a film all on your own and then put it out there for the world to see.
On guts factor alone, I have to give credit to the Wrights for their movie The Exorcism in Amarillo. Namely Ashley, who is the star, writer, director, co-producer, and real life inspiration for this film.
A Mother Tormented By Demons In Amarillo, Texas
The film is supposedly based on the true story of the Wrights, who went toe-to-toe with nefarious forces of evil. A demonic presence invades the family home when a book on witchcraft is accidentally brought into the house via a purchase made through Craigslist.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Nothing good can come of Craigslist.
Books fly. Bed sheets fly. Objects shake. There's a strange knocking at the door. There's even some jump scares featuring the film's incorporeal antagonist.
All of this take place, of course, while the patriarch of the family is fighting in Iraq. So, the mother is left all alone to protect the house and the family from the unseen devilish force.
Apparently Exorcisms Aren't That Popular In Amarillo, Texas
Eventually the Wright women are forced to call upon a holy man to come and wage war against the demon. Unfortunately, Padre Fedora (as I like to call him) has never engaged in this type of thing before and repeats several times that he has no idea what to do.
This leads to what I believe may be a tip of the hat to the film that made exorcism plots cool in Hollywood, The Exorcist. In The Exorcism in Amarillo, the preacher is attacked by the demon and is then chased out of the house. He loses his hat, and his glasses wind up sideways on his face.
All is well that ends well, though. Eventually the dad comes home and, as head of the house, leads the family in cleansing the Wright family estate.
The Family That Films Together...
From what I gather, this is the passion project of the Wright family. The credits are all to the Wrights. Considering the number of times we see Ashley's name in the credits, I assume she's the member of the family that spearheaded the project.
She starred in it. She wrote it. She directed it. She's even listed on IMDb as the action director, which I believe equates to being stunt coordinator...but I'm no expert.
That all being said, you shouldn't waltz into this thing expecting much of a budget or massive ensemble cast. This is clearly a family with a story to tell, so they picked up a camera and did just that.
A Possible Hidden Gem Of Very Small Niche
I'm not familiar with many Christian themed horror movies, so I don't have much to go off of. I imagine it isn't the biggest niche in the world.
But, if you need an excuse to watch this movie, Dove.org refused to give it their seal of religious approval because of the focus on scary scenes and demons.
Excuse me, Dove, but it's a flipping movie about a freaking exorcism.
I can't imagine meeting the person who went into a film with the word EXORCISM in the title and thought to themselves that this would be a wholesome romp through a sunlit park on a Sunday after church.
Also, demons aren't necessarily supposed to be friendly unless you're a goth kid trying to build a YouTube following. Demons are supposed to be scary. They're scary in the Bible before they inhabit a herd of pigs and then fling themselves off a cliff because, "oh no, now we're pigs."
Based on the fact that Dove says no, I say yes. Press play.
Should You Watch The Exorcism in Amarillo?
Sure, there are plot holes like the scene where mom shifts from placing the blame on the daughter before accepting the blame herself and then telling the daughter to go pray and ask for forgiveness, even though she just admitted that she was the one who brought the book in the house.
Maybe the dialogue could use a little work. Maybe some of it feels like it was improvised.
The film does feature what is quite possibly the most useless man-of-the-cloth in the history of feature length films. And yeah, this film runs just under 90 minutes.
But for all of its shortcomings, I came away with a smile on my face. From the moments where it looks like someone is trying to remember their next line, down to the demon that looks like a spooky toy you might win at the Tri-State Fair if you knock down enough milk bottles...I enjoyed myself with this one.
If you're a fan of Tommy Wiseau or Neil Breen, you've definitely seen worse plots and camera angles.
And by the way, Ashley did receive a nomination for best actress at the Los Angeles Film Awards in 2020.