If sometimes we’re willing to let some things go, and forget about normality and even decency, when watching horror movies, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy Nefarious. The filmmakers behind it are known for popular Christianity-based franchises, and there’s some of their points in the plot, but the film doesn’t go for propaganda when building the plot. Sure, the ending we could do without, but in heart of it, there’s actually a well-made film here. Objectively, we can’t deny its production value, some of its good performances and the confident aspect of a horror film that, even without scares or spilled guts, makes its message arrive to its very specific target.
Sean Patrick Flannery plays a convicted serial killer who must be evaluated by a psychiatrist on the day of his execution. The guy in charge of it kills himself in a freakish suicide, so Dr. James Martin replaces him. Everything seems normal until the killer declares he’s actually an entity called Nefarious. What follows is a… conversation. Nefarious indicates that before their session is over, Martin will have committed three murders. Their talk leads towards something like that, but it isn’t as literal as it sounds. Demons can be deceptive, as we’ve seen them countless times.
I won’t address the politics of the film because everyone can do that by themselves. I believe sometimes you can enjoy horror if it compels you enough to cheer for the good guys, or in my case for the bad ones. This is a possession movie that doesn’t go for visual effects or a scary sound design to make us believe Nefarious means business. Sometimes, it’s just about what he says. Personally, I would have loved to see audiences have the doubt of whether he was really possessed or not. One specific sequence in the third act will confirm this.
Flannery is good enough to make me remember his better performances, but in this one he actually makes it to the very end without losing control. In fact, his gravitas is essential for Jordan Belfi‘s Martin to be engaging. He plays a possessed serial killer whose real personality is hidden by a clever entity whose messages are quite interesting. The whole reply about “diversity”? Classic demon’s shenanigans.
Give it a try. Perhaps you’ll like or you’ll hate it. But in any case, you will determine this by yourself and not because someone online told you so.