Movie Review: The Vatican Tapes (2015)

October 26, 2015

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

I’ve been looking forward to seeing ‘The Vatican Tapes’ for a while now. Last night I finally go to see it via VOD. The film from Lionsgate was directed by Mark Neveldine and stars Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Pena, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori, Djimon Hounsou and Peter Andersson.



In ‘The Vatican Tapes’ Angela (Dudley), a young woman, is celebrating her birthday when she cuts her finger badly, while cutting her cake. After getting stitches she and her boyfriend Pete (Amedori) are riding on a bus when a crow crashes through the window. She moves in to take a look at the bird, which then bites her. Over the next few days she becomes sick and is carried to the hospital, where she falls into a coma. Her father is forced to make the decision to remove her from life support, she dies, only to come back after a few minutes. Her sanity comes into question, but a priest (Pena) recognizes the signs of possession. After the priest contacts the Vatican, Cardinal Bruun is sent to handle the exorcism. This is where the film departs from your average possession film. Angela is not like your run of the mill possessed character. I’ll stop with the story-line here, I would hate to ruin the ending.


Lately we’ve seen a lot of possession films released, ‘The Vatican Tapes’ did not stand out. The film does not rely on a lot of special effects and that works out well. Dudly was fantastic. The shift between Angela possessed and those few moments when her character returns to consciousness was seamless, but at the same time, it was clear which version of Angela was present. The other characters were nicely played as well, however Pena’s character lacked emotion.  My major complaint is that they took forever building up to the climax. I feel they should have spent longer focusing on the exorcism itself. I got the impression that they were setting it up for a sequel, which is a strong possibility with the the way the movie ended. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’d watch it.


My verdict? ‘The Vatican Tapes’ is worth watching, but don’t expect a lot. You can now watch ‘The Vatican Tapes’ on both VOD and DVD.



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