Exorcism In Utero Banner

Exorcism in Utero (2023) Review

Exorcism in Utero is I suppose the next logical step for a genre that’s seen The Last Exorcism and The Last Exorcist, Exorcist Vengeance and even The Exorcism of God. Since everyone alive seems to have had their demons cast out, why not go into the womb and offer some divine prenatal care?

Peter O’Neill (Leonard Hoge, The Halloween Surprise, Christmas Freak) is a young boy who is obsessed with horror films. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he gets a skeptical response from his mother Debra (Stephanie Leet, Zombie Cats from Mars, 3 Flies in a Widow’s Web), father Frank (Steve Larkin, Pillow Party Massacre, Crystal) and especially his older sister Ally (Allegra Sweeney, Zombiegeddon, Cross Hollow) when he announced he saw something weird going on at the neighbour’s house.

Exorcism in Utero 1

The neighbours are actually going to the Bahamas, not on vacation but to do missionary work, and have hired Herma (Sam Bangs, Bad Samaritan, The Motel ‘6’), whom they know from church, to housesit while they’re away. Charles (Neil Green, Insidious Inferno, Winning Isn’t Everything) does show her where the trap door leading to the cellar is hidden but tells her not to go down there, thus assuring that she will go there and find what looks like a BDSM playroom. She also finds a ring that seems to compel her to put it on and won’t come off afterwards.

Exorcism in Utero is writer/director Erik Skybak’s first film in those roles, although he has experience working behind the camera in several other roles, including second-unit director on Conjuring The Beyond and A Haunting in Ravenwood among other films. He shows promise here, doing a good job of keeping some familiar plot devices interesting as he sets up the plot and introduces the characters.

Exorcism in Utero 3

Unfortunately, once the supernatural makes its appearance, the problems do as well. There are plenty of strange things happening, Herma’s pregnancy seems to go into fast-forward and she breaks out in a weird grey rash. Peter is acting weirder than usual and a seemingly troubled priest Father Bresson (Calvin Morie McCarthy, The Last Slay Ride, An Amityville Poltergeist) is looking for something in the neighbourhood.

So while there is a lot going on, there isn’t a lot of explanation or even anything to tie them all together. This in turn leaves Exorcism in Utero feeling more weird than actually frightening, as things happen that the viewer doesn’t have a point of reference for or know how it relates to everything else. At times the disconnect is so severe it’s not certain if what we’re seeing is real, a nightmare or considering some scenes appear to be playing on a VHS tape, one of Peter’s movies.

Exorcism in Utero 4

If this is intentional, then Skybak deserves credit for creating something so incredibly and entertainingly weird. And the exorcism/childbirth scene we eventually get is a definite argument in favour of that theory. Other things, such as Exorcism in Utero’s focus on the O’Neills when the film should be centred on Herma points toward an unfocused script that wasn’t sure if it was a horror movie or a coming-of-age film. Or possibly some needed scenes never got filmed.

Either way, I found Exorcism in Utero to be an enjoyable watch, although I can understand a lot of viewers having a different opinion. I liked its overall WTF tone and refusal to be coherent, entertaining in a Jess Franco kind of way, though unfortunately lacking a nude Lina Romay. If you’re looking for careful plotting this won’t be for you, but if you’re in the right mood, or have taken the right edibles, this could be a fun watch.

Breaking Glass Pictures will release Exorcism in Utero to Digital Platforms on May 23rd. If you’re looking for more films like this, FilmTagger can offer a few suggestions.

YouTube video
Where to watch Exorcism in Utero
Our Score
Scroll to Top