Exorcism’s Daughter (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Rafael Moreno Alba
Producers: Espartaco Santoni
Writers: Rafael Moreno Alba
Date Released: 1971
Analía Gadé as Tania
Francisco Rabal as Fuso
Espartaco Santoni as Rafael Alba
María Asquerino as Presidenta Junta
José Vivó as old doctor
Victor Israel as the barber
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a new doctor, Rafael Alba, who was assigned at a women’s asylum. He wanted to prove that hypnosis can cure mental illness and he focused on a woman who was suffering from childhood trauma, Tania. As he conducts his experiments, they slowly fell in love with each other. Much to the dismay of the townspeople, they did not believe in hypnosis and considered it as witchcraft. Aside from the obsession of the asylum president and how the caretaker tortures the women, the fact that nobody wanted to believe in hypnosis as a cure led to Doctor Alba being sent away without finishing his sessions. Tania was left hopeless in the asylum still seeking for her freedom.
The exorcism scene from the flashback was the only creepy thing in this movie. The old ladies in black who were chanting gave it a scary atmosphere even though there was no actual exorcism conducted. Most of the horror came from the torture scenes in the asylum between Fuso and the patients all throughout the movie.
The Grave Review
The only exorcism in the movie was during the flashback from Tania’s childhood. There were no actual exorcism rites done because it came from her distant memory. The title of the movie probably came from Tania being a daughter of someone who died from exorcism.
The horror elements came from the fact that the setting was in an insane asylum featuring some torture devices and proof of insanity from the patients. Other than that, the movie was more of a drama focusing on the challenge of proving something that the people do not agree on. In this case, the townspeople did not accept or even hear out the new concept of hypnosis as a cure for the asylum patients.
In terms of acting, the insane patients were good at portraying annoying patients, though sometimes overacting. The doctor was a bit monotonous and robotic, especially without showing much facial expressions. Fuso and the board president were the perfect villains not just with how they act but also with how they look.
The lack of color in the movie added to the melancholy theme of the movie and matched the original Spanish title, Las Melancolicas.
Aside from the lack of horror, the dragging story, the numerous irrelevant and unexplained scenes, and the confusing editing were the problems in this movie. Examples of the unexplained scenes include the belltower scene where Tania went crazy, and the marching with torches at the town square where their efforts led to nothing.
The ending was a bit sad and a waste of time because after all that had happened, Tania was still left in the asylum. Unless the townspeople accept Doctor Alba’s cure, he cannot return back to the asylum to complete his sessions with Tania and earn her the freedom she was longing for.
Overall, this movie is still recommended for those who are into insane asylum themes.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Exorcism’s Daughter (1971) one grave out of five graves.
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