Is there any validity to the supernatural phenomenon of demonic possession? Or can such instances be explained through psychology and science? Charles Vanderpool's fascinating documentary-docudrama, In the Grip of Evil, s... more »uccessfully argues the definite possibility of demonic possession by recounting the alleged 1949 case of a 13-year-old boy that inspired William Peter Blatty's bestselling novel (and, later, blockbuster film adaptation) The Exorcist. Vanderpool aligns a range of interviews, from William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist) to supernatural "experts" to, most convincingly, one of the priests that actually took part in the exorcism. (Their views are countered only by one doubting psychologist, so the documentary is hardly objective.) Unfortunately, Vanderpool also felt the need to use cheesy re-creations of the events, thereby lessening the film's dramatic grip. Regardless of which side of the argument you eventually believe, In the Grip of Evil still leaves you feeling a bit creepy. The DVD is packed with supporting evidence of demonic possession, including the case-study diary of Father Halloran (one of the two priests who conducted the exorcism), newspaper accounts of the events, and interviews with the filmmakers. Those with a DVD-ROM drive can read all the newspaper articles and all the original letters, and print out several versions of the case study. --Dave McCoy« less
"It's not often you see a good documentary and then get access to the sources used to make it. I was quite impressed with this DVD and the story. It is much better done than your typical documentary fare.To address the previous reviewer, I checked out the DVD of this documentary and I think they got it pretty much right. The DVD includes the diary of the exorcist priest and letters and newspaper clippings that corroborate all the locations mentioned in the film. If your basis for fact checking is the internet, I'm not at all surprised you think this film is wrong. Check the real sources."
M. Mansfield | NJ, USA | 10/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have the VHS and most of the facts are correct, as far as I can tell. It isn't supposed to be a "sensationalized" effort. In fact, from all I have seen of the video, it's presented in a very matter-of-fact way.
They're not looking to make "believers" out of people, but present what happened along with a critique from both sides of the issue.
Granted, I wouldn't be watching this for the same purpose as I would the Exorcist. The Exorcist was meant to scare the bejeezers out of you, and this seems to be designed to inform. All in all, well worth the money they charge."
An informational thriller
M. Mansfield | 10/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a HUGE fan of the Exorcist I just had to buy this video. It gave me a lot of understanding on where Blatty got his ideas for the book. It is in now way the movie itself, it is a documentary on the story behined the famous horror film. I actually found it scarier but that's probably because I have seen the movie so many times it has lost effect. Both of them are great!!!!"
A well made and narrated documentary, informative and eerie!
M. Mansfield | 03/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For years I've read that the "Exorcist" was based on a true story. I was happy to see a documentary of the actual events finally made. In addition to the excellent production values, the story was well told. The sincerity of the witnesses that participated in the exorcism came through in a clear and powerful fashion."
"I was twiced as scared!"
M. Mansfield | 08/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary is about the true story of the movie "The Exorcist." This kept me on the edge of my seat! The setting is 1947 with Robby and his family. Of course you know in The Exorcist, a girl was possesed. The boy becomes possessed and The Exorcists come in!! I'm not going to tell you how he gets possessed, so buy the video and enjoy.Check Out my Other reviews in Other Horror Movies! END"