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Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

After the horror of World War 2, father Merrin goes to Africa to help with an archaeologic dig of an ancient church and hopes to forget what he’s been through as the effects of the war have rocked his faith. When the church gets freed up, Merrin finds a dungeon below it that looks to be the sanctuary of a demon but he doesn’t think much of it until strange things start to happen: English soldiers are found dead near the church, the local commander starts acting strange, and a young deformed local boy suddenly starts healing. Before long, it becomes clear that there’s a reason the church was burried…

Sound and Vision:
Dutch Filmworks didn’t do much with the image quality as it most certainly could use some cleaning up. Constantly you’ll see filmspots flashing over your screen and also there’s some edge enhacement present. Clearly this could be a lot better.

The soundtrack itself is quite alright with good use of all channels and clear dialogues from the center speaker.

Extras:
– Audio Commentary track by Paul Shrader
– Deleted Scenes
– Film Clips
– Trailers
– Interviews with cast&crew
– Behind the scenes
– Footage from the Brussels International Festival of the Fantastic Film
– Photo Gallery
– Liner Notes

Conclusion:
Ok, let’s start with the good things first for once: Dutch Filmworks has released Dominion in a nice steelcase package the contains two discs with the second one having most of the extras. Although everything is quite standard, it’s still nice to see that at least there’s quite a lot of extra content present. Unfortunately, that’s where the good stuff stops. The image quality could have been a lot better, but that’s not the worst part: this movie is plain boring.

The history of this movie is quite interesting actually. The studio wanted to make a prequel to The Exorcist and sent in Paul Shrader. However, when the bosses got to see his work, he got fired and Renny Harlin was called to make it again. That resulted in Exorcist: The Beginning. However, Harlin’s movie didn’t doo all too well in the cinema and Paul Shrader was determined to release his version and since things couldn’t get much worse he was allowed to. Unfortunately.

If Renny Harlin’s movie was mediocre at best, Dominion is plain boring. Instead of building up tension and working to a true Exorcist ending, Shrader decided to show us the psyche of Father Merrin and this results in a movie that’s so boring one could fall asleep after 10 minutes and waking up 5 minutes before the ending without having missed much. The fact that two directors manage to screw up the same basic material also says a lot about the idea behind the prequel. Maybe instead of switching directors, the screenwiters should have been fired and new ones hired to create an actually interesting story. Let this one go by, there’s better movies out there.

Our Score:
4.0

posted in: Dutch Filmworks, DVD, Reviews
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