Written By: Stephanie Pislis
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
The Song of Solomon (2017), directed by Stephen Biro and released under the Unearthed film production company, is the latest film installment in the American Guinea Pig film series. For those who aren’t familiar with the American Guinea Pig series, these films comprise of extremely gory, highly entertaining, taboo subject matters. The four films that make up the American Guinea Pigs are an absolute must for any fan of extreme horror.
What Happens When An Exorcism Fails? All Hell Breaks Loose Literally!
The Song of Solomon is categorized under the genre of an exorcism film, however, it is quite unique from the rest. What primarily differentiates this film is the fact that it focuses on a failed exorcism rather than a successful one. Biro chose to focus on a very important piece of information that is often overlooked, the fact that if an exorcism fails, the soul of the priest who is unable to extract the demon is eternally condemned to hell. The exorcism in this film is therefore depicted as more than a simple battle between good and evil, it is rather a battle that determines the immortal state of either eternal salvation or damnation for the souls of multiple priests.
The Song of Solomon revolves around the possession of a young woman, Mary, played by Jessica Cameron. Mary, or rather the demon that is possessing her, states that she will only be freed from the possession once the Antichrist is born, a piece of information that is pivotal to the plot. Once the church becomes aware of the situation, a high priest takes charge of overseeing the exorcism. He summons only the most qualified of priests to exorcise the demon. Four priests are summoned in total. All of which ultimately fail, some more brutally than others.
The special effects director, Marcus Koch, who has previously worked on the gory effects in several other Unearthed productions has also shown outstanding work. The gore in this film is phenomenal. It is not superfluous nor unnecessary, but rather it is intricate, unique and tastefully brutal. The extreme and exaggerated amounts of atrocities that are dispersed throughout the film are highly graphic, intense and not for the faint of heart. The prosthetic realism is so well-done that it would make even the most avid gorehound cringe. A brief example of Koch’s work in this film would be the very first scene. Biro throws his audience into the chaos with a gripping initial hook. While Mary is lying in bed, she witnesses her father brutally committing suicide. Pacing around the room in a fit of hysteria and reciting the prayer “our father,” the man removes his tongue in a very creative fashion. He slices a large gash across his throat and inserts his fingers deep into the wound. He fishes around the bloody hole until he forcefully retrieves his tongue through the gaping wound.
The Song of Solomon would make “the most avid gorehound cringe”
Not only is the chaos and carnage pleasing to watch, but many gore scenes also offer deeper meaning behind them. One example of this is depicted in the scene in which the third priest, Father Corbin, played by Gene Palubicki, cannot resist the demon any longer. His strength gives way as he succumbs to the demon and is compelled to mutilate himself. His utter resistance is beautifully depicted by the use of special effects. As he is unwillingly mutilating himself, one of his eyes turns into a deep black color while the other one remains untouched. The contrast of the one clear eye and the one shadowy eye can be seen as a representation of the priest’s internal struggle and resistance. Eventually the darkness overcomes Father Corbin fully as he baptizes the demon in his own holy blood. Without giving away too many spoilers, if you are watching this film with any background knowledge of Biro’s work, one can predict that evil ultimately triumphs. This malignant finale can be foreshadowed as soon as you hit play.
Fornication, Mutilated Bodies and Pools of Blood are only some of the many amazing gore scenes in this film
For a movie that is quite unknown outside of the extreme horror movie community, Biro presents an immense amount of details and metaphors throughout the film. The unholy baptism in blood, the internal struggle between good and evil are only some of the highly developed yet subtle metaphors that are scattered throughout this film. The unique concept of focusing on a failed exorcism rather than a successful one is a nice twist. All in all, the special effects, the acting and the directing mesh together beautifully and proves that the Unearthed crew, as a whole, share fantastic chemistry. These factors make this film truly stand out from the rest. Arguably, The Song of Solomon can be considered “The Exorcist” of the 21st century!
Did you find this review helpful? Comment below.
You may also like the movie review on the film, Nekromantik.