How well have movies depicted Jesus the exorcist?

The History Channel had a huge hit this year with The Bible, but the makers of that mini-series are taking the sequel to another network, so it’s not too surprising that the History Channel turned to someone else to make a follow-up of their own. What is surprising is that their next Jesus-themed series will be made by a bunch of horror-movie veterans, including Eli Roth, director of Hostel (2005-2007), Eric Newman, producer of the Dawn of the Dead remake (2004) and the prequel to The Thing (2011), and Scott Kosar, a writer whose credits include the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and The Amityville Horror (2005). Roth and Newman also co-produced The Last Exorcism (2010-2013).

Deadline says the series is currently called The Lost Years and will look at what Jesus was up to between the ages of 13 and 30. The series will also reportedly fit into the horror genre as it explores “a theory about Jesus’ origins as an exorcist.”

Given the pedigree of everyone involved, this could easily be very schlocky (“Jesus The Teenage Demon Slayer,” as Matthew Archbold puts it). And yet I can’t help thinking that performing exorcisms was a major part of Jesus’ ministry, and it’s possible the Jesus-movie genre hasn’t paid as much attention to that side of him as it could.

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Review: The Amityville Horror (dir. Andrew Douglas, 2005)

For a Christian film critic like me, one of the more interesting things about the recent glut of horror sequels and remakes is the opportunity it has given me to go back and look at the classic thrillers that I avoided at all costs in my younger days. When I was a child, I was reluctant to expose myself to any supernatural story that didn’t have the clear imprimatur of some evangelical author or other, and by the time I became a man and put away childish things, many of the films made during my youth had faded into video-store oblivion. So the best thing I can say about Andrew Douglas’s remake of The Amityville Horror is that it gave me a reason to track down the original film, which I remember hearing about when I was still in grade school, and which, to my surprise, has a fair bit of Christian content.

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