Recently I’ve been inspired to learn more about the reality of spiritual warfare and particularly about the nature of exorcisms. One of my new favorite podcasts, “U.S. Grace Force“, featured Fr. Carlos Martins in January, where I learned about his podcast called “The Exorcist Files.” In this podcast Fr. Martins re-enacts and discusses many of the real case files from exorcisms he has been involved with. He also spells out some of the reasons why there has been an increase in possessions and other diabolical problems in the world and in many people’s lives. What can be done? How should we regard the attacks against our souls? How should we respond?

This week the Grace Force podcast brought back Fr. Martins to discuss the new movie in theaters now called Nefarious. Christine and I went to see it last night and it is excellent! It’s playing at various Regal Cinemas around town.

I highly recommend this movie for anyone and everyone (believers and non-believers) to better understand the reality of demonic forces at work in the world today and to better understand how the demons think. Some have called it a modern day Screwtape Letters.

Nefarious is a theologically sound presentation of the reality of demonic possession and helps us to be on guard against the lies and tactics of the Evil One.  In particular it calls out the inherent evil of euthanasia, abortion and the death penalty, making the case that each of these are the result of demonic influence and activity.

Fr. Martins claims in an interview with National Catholic Register that Nefarious is the most realistic portrayal of demonic possession he has ever seen in the movies:

I can say — without hesitation — that it is the best movie portraying demonic possession ever produced. Rather than getting bogged down — like every other movie — in diabolical phenomena and power (levitation, extraordinary strength, and other “same-old” signs), this one brings the viewer into the demonic mind. While the movie trend has focused on displaying demonic rage, Nefarious deftly exhibits the devil’s insatiable craving and formidable intelligence. Far less concerned with ostentation than demonstrating the devil’s thought and intellectual character, the movie accurately depicts how he smothers his victim’s hope.

From what I’ve learned about the demonic over the past few months, I must agree. Here’s a quick description from the NCR article, which I strongly encourage you to read:

…the film Nefarious is a horror thriller like none other, spotlighting the epic battle between evil and human souls.

Co-writers-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman’s supernatural thriller was inspired by the book A Nefarious Plot by New York Times best-selling author Steve Deace. A criminal awaiting execution gets a last-minute reprieve when a court order sends a psychiatrist to examine if he is trying to avoid the death penalty with his behavior. The doctor finds he is a demon who wants to be executed, leading to an edge-of-the-seat battle of good against evil. Both writers, known for Unplanned, consider this their best work up to date and spoke at length with Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen about their film. 

You can check out the trailer here:

On the subject of exorcisms, The Grace Force podcast has also had Fr. Chad Ripperger as a guest, another experienced and respected exorcist. In this video Fr. Ripperger shares many of his encounters with and his understanding of demons. It’s quite long, but well worth watching if you are interested in learning more about how the Evil One thinks and works.

The good news for us Christians is that we have nothing to fear of the demonic forces at work in the world if we are living in God’s grace. They have no power over us unless we invite them into our lives. Christ definitively defeated evil on the cross and as long as we don’t persist in unrepented mortal sin, we are safe from their power.

For me, the Nefarious movie and these podcasts on exorcism has heightened my awareness and increased my understanding of the truth about spiritual warfare. They have caused me to be ever more diligent in the practice of our Holy Catholic faith as a sure safeguard against the influence and the lies of Satan and his army of demons.

Let us pray daily to St. Michael for protection from all evil:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.