You can start by saying this about the new movie, Nefarious: Never before has there been a more courageous and explicit — a face-front cinematic exposé — of evil.
The attempt is admirable in a number of ways.
Stunningly, it starts by taking criminality and abortion head-on, with a demon itself, speaking through a condemned inmate named Edward, savors the fact that a psychiatrist interviewing him (to determine his sanity) is committing murder with his girlfriend, who, that very day, is at a clinic, “terminating” a baby.
Calling it precisely that — “murder” — the demon laughs at the psychiatrist’s attempts to justify and use euphemisms like “termination” for the abortion — and also taunts the psychiatrist for euthanasia (when his mother was dying).
Two major issues tackled not as esoteric societal concepts of evil — in the way most preachers preach and Catholic media do — but as directly satanic.
Nothing dispels evil like citing it where and how it is.
The demon also finds great satisfaction in the fact that the inmate he is “inhabiting” (possessing) is about to face the electric chair for killings done while the demon — who calls itself “Nefarious” — took over the man’s body.
How many crimes are committed due to demonism?
No one can say, but the number is probably legion.
Again, actual metaphysical evil, not a generic brand.
Are secular critics panning the movie? Of course. But for the wrong reasons. If there are criticisms, one can say that movies usually need at least one likable character, and it is difficult to find one here. The closest thing to that would be poor possessed inmate Edward Wayne Brady, but sympathy for the pathetic nature of his doomed existence, not likely, is the overarching feeling.
Perhaps most importantly, a movie that takes evil so head-on (whew does it!) should be balanced with the victory of the Cross. In a way, this movie has the demon triumphing at the end (the psychiatrist himself ends up doing the devil’s bidding by writing a book the devil gave him).
Can we recommend viewing Nefarious?
A tough call. Those who do should be aware that the lack of balance in the movie’s production imparts a bit of evil, even upon the well-intended. Translation: evil emanates a bit too strongly from the screen and perhaps can attach to the unwary viewer, causing an unpleasant aftertaste, one that can only be washed away with prayer and Holy Water.
Look here at the incredible problems that beset production of this movie.
In short: be careful with this movie. It is intense. If viewed, this should be done so after a Rosary, and with prayer throughout.
Remarkable it is, that such a movie has made it into public theatres and was made in the first place. Successful? We were the only ones in the theatre where we viewed it.
But get back to courageous: it is all of that.
[resources: video of latest Michael Brown retreat]