Michaela Klinger (Sandra Hueller) has been faithfully taking her meds and her seizure-causing epilepsy is under control. Or so it seems. The 21-year old wants to test the limits of her “health” and she enrolls in a nearby college. But, her new lifestyle makes her want to break the tether of medication and she stops taking her pills – to tragic results – in “Requiem.”
Inspired by the same material as The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Requiem” shines where the first film failed. Choosing fine acting and a believable script over standard demonic special effects, this film showcases a bleak and tragic tale of a girl who just wants to be normal and live her life. Ashamed of her condition, Michaela strives for normalcy at nearly any cost.
This film made me nervous the entire time I watched. No matter how mundane the activity, you’re left feeling like a massive seizure could break out any second. The battle of science versus faith is ultimately put to the test as Michaela is pulled into the darkness of her worsening affliction.
There is no big reveal moment where you see a cross suddenly burst into flames, or a demonic dog staring in from the outside. There is a bare and stripped down way about “Requiem” that makes it a very effective portrait of supernatural possession. Hueller plays the part magnificently, offering a sad, but inspiring approach to such a darkly depressing young girl. You feel for her immediately. She battles a strict religious upbringing and a resentful, sheltering mother while she wants nothing more than to be normal. It’s very disheartening to learn she stopped taking her anti-seizure meds and died from exhaustion as a result of dozens of exorcisms.
This film is hard to watch at times, but delivers an engaging and believable view into the exorcism genre. The horror involved is based entirely on real events, and I think that makes it that much scarier. A must see for fans of demon possession and scaled back horror.