William Friedkin’s satanic shocker, The Exorcist annihilated box office records when it first released back in 1973, and it’s still seen as one of the scariest and greatest horror films ever made almost four decades later. Having had such a significant influence on popular culture, the exorcism sub-genre continues to thrive, with filmmakers “casting out” timeworn tropes in the hopes of providing a novel spin to stand out in such a crowded and competitive realm.
The latest entry in the sub-genre, writer/director Justin P. Lange’s The Seventh Day, switches things up more than most films of this ilk, combining familiar exorcism formulae with buddy-cop trappings brilliantly buoyed by gripping performances across the board.
Directing his own script, Lange summoned a stellar cast headed up by Guy Pearce, Vadhir Derbez and Stephen Lang to tell the story of a renowned exorcist who is partnered up with a rookie priest to show him the ropes. As they try to stop the demonic possession of a young boy, the lines between good and evil blur and their own demons emerge.
With The Seventh Day releasing today, March 26, SCREAM congregated with Pearce who confessed that being brought up as a heathen sparked a real curiosity and respect for religion and how Lange’s story is an engaging and singular exploration of good versus evil.
Words: Howard Gorman