Well, I finally tried some Molly. But did it give me the horror high I’d hoped for?
THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY (2008)
Horror hottie Randy Wayne, the reason I bothered to watch this film, is only in the first minute or so. Meanwhile, the entire opening scene feels ridiculously disconnected from the rest of the film other than to show us what we soon learn is the entire theme of main girl Molly’s story—parents that try to kill their kids.
Yet, as Molly faces off against a bevy of bitches from CW shows at school, she is occasionally haunted by the ghost of…her still living mother?
Molly flirts with Chace Crawford of Gossip Girl, making Anna LynneMcCord of the Beverly Hills 90210 jealous.
In the new friend zone she gets caught between the devil on one shoulder in the form of a rebellious girl at school, and the angel on the other shoulder in the form of a religious nut girl at school.
But that’s about it until Molly learns what’s really going on at the end of the film.
It’s not like people die along the way or anything, so this mostly does feel like a CW show.
THE EXORCISM OF MOLLY HARTLEY (2015)
Seven years later a movie company decides to dust off a character from a movie no one remembers to make a sequel with an entirely different actress, writer, and director. If nothing else, this sequel demonstrates how much the landscape of the genre has changed in just a decade.
However, there’s actually more than nothing else here. Aside from the fact that they were going for name recognition in the title of an exorcism movie they wanted to make to get in the game, they actually made a pretty damn good carbon copy exorcism sequence of that in The Exorcist.
That’s right, I’m actually going easy on one of the hundreds of clones of the 1973 classic. Right from the start, this one lets you know it is going to do the best damn job it can of imitating the true original.
Steven R. Monroe, director of I Spit On Your Grave 1 & 2, Grave Halloween, and It Waits does the honors. Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Idle Hands, 388 Arletta Avenue, Devil’s Den) plays the fallen priest who fucked up an exorcism, but has now been asked by a doctor at a mental hospital to cleanse Molly Hartley.
Molly is now played by Sarah Lind (Severed, WolfCop). She gets a new job and has a threesome with two coworkers (I don’t care what the woman looked like).
Then things go horribly wrong, Molly is tossed in an asylum, and we get some backstory from the first film’s plot through her doctor, who very quickly decides Molly is possessed. I wish my doctors would jump to that conclusion as quickly. Of course what may have pushed this doctor to it so fast is the massive helping of pea soup Molly shares with her.
Molly apparently hates mental hospital food.
If anything from the exorcism/possession sequence excites you and you’ve never seen The Exorcist, just understand that every single thing that happens is stolen directly from The Exorcist.
And for good measure there are bugs to drag a nod to—of all things—Exorcist II: The Heretic into it.
Not to mention, since Molly’s legacy is undeniably similar to the main plot point of The Omen, this film even pays homage to the scene in which that crazy bitch sacrifices herself for Damien at his birthday party.
The only really bad part of this film is the final frame, which was most likely forced on the director by the studio in hopes that they could try to make a third film. Come the 2020s, they probably will…