Variety has this review:
Yes, the various researchers and psychics who went into the haunted house — which provided the inspiration for the movie “The Exorcist” — spoke often of feeling cold and strange. But as is so often the case with these exercises, viewers at home simply had to take their word for it.
Frankly, the producers seemed to squander an opportunity with their taped packages, which relied heavily on over-the-top dramatic recreations, which looked pretty pallid compared to clips from the movie. Given that most people are familiar with the 1973 film, but not so much with the 1949 case in St. Louis that provided its underpinnings, a more scholarly approach to that material might have actually been interesting.
But no, this “live” stunt was really all about showmanship, and not incidentally promoting the gang at “Ghost Asylum,” which airs on the network. As for whether they approached the task with any skepticism, that was summed up by their poet laureate, Steven “Doogie” McDougal, who spoke of entering “a little bitty room that you know Satan was in.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes:
Paramedics and holy water were standing by, but “Exorcism: Live!” would have benefited more from No-Doz.
The stunt, staged by the Destination America cable channel to drive demons from the house in Bel-Nor where the boy whose story inspired “The Exorcist” once lived, built up the spooky atmosphere for two long hours.
“What you are about to witness is a live presentation that may contain graphic and disturbing scenes,” Destination America warned. “Our experts are trained professionals equipped to deal with dangerous situations. Do not attempt this at home. Viewer discretion is advised.”
The only disturbing scenes, though, were cheesy re-creations. And although some viewers, following along on Twitter, reported being frightened, any real tension was quickly diffused by repeated commercial breaks.
The Daily Mail reports that people on Twitter were having a field day:
Viewers were quick to mock the Wraith Chasers for their outfits, accents and failure to produce any real tangible results besides feeling a ‘heaviness inside the house’ and having difficulty breathing.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘It’s hard to breathe’ – two overweight guys just finishing the flight of stairs.’
Another said: ‘Those ‘tight feelings’ in your chest might be your shirt, dude. #ExorcismLive.’
Photo: Destination America / Daily Mail