Devils in Documentary:
A Review of Two Dark Netflix Shows by Fiona Dodwell
Quite recently I wrote a feature for Kendall Reviews – ‘Devils and Demons: the Best Demonic Tales in Fiction.‘ Shortly after writing the piece, I watched two documentaries via Netflix UK, both linked to the demonic. Whilst these shows do not, admittedly, come under the “horror genre” category, I felt that they had strong connections to demonic and occult themes in fiction (being hugely influential, in some cases) and therefore were worth reviewing.
The Devil and Father Armorth: by William Friedkin.
This show was created by Exorcist director William Friedkin, who worked on the classic film in the early 70s- one of the earliest references to possession in modern entertainment culture. He spends some time in the documentary talking about the film, about the location, the inspiration (apparently it was based on a true case) and the impact the film had – so for these reasons alone, film fans may enjoy this documentary. The show then goes on to explore the life and career of Father Armorth, a priest who worked as an Exorcist for the church for many years. As a unique angle, the church granted permission for an exorcism to be filmed for the documentary (this is highly unusual) and so viewers get the chance first-hand to witness what it is like. I have to admit, I found the documentary really unnerving, especially as events spiralled during the exorcism itself. It was fascinating to watch, and, whether you are open-minded to the supernatural or a firm sceptic, this documentary provides interesting food for thought. Containing opinions from not only religious people but also from psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors, it opens up an interesting discussion to all aspects of the phenomena. It is also interesting to see the basis of many events and themes in literature.
Hostage to the Devil
This in-depth documentary focuses on the life and work of a former Jesuit Priest, Father Malachi Martin. I’d already mentioned in a previous feature for Kendall Reviews that one of the books that scared me the most was Hostage to the Devil, by Malachi Martin, and this documentary follows his life and career as he faces cases of alleged possession. Much the same as the first documentary I reviewed above, this one takes into consideration all sides of the “argument”… there are testimonies from those who are sceptical, appearances from detractors, and yet also compelling interviews and footage from believers. Yet again, there is enough here to satisfy the most ardent non-believer – or enough to reinforce somebody who may have faith in such things. I found this documentary to be really insightful, very creepy in parts and yet, from a psychological point of view, really fascinating to watch the human experience of various people who were involved in this dark side of religion.
If you enjoy a good documentary and are interested in such subjects, I highly recommend these two shows which are still available on Netflix.
Fiona Dodwell has been writing fiction for almost 10 years, with several horror/paranormal titles released under various publishers. Alongside this, she is a freelance writer for various websites and magazines. She has written features for Warner Music, Made In Shoreditch Magazine, Music-news.com and Tremr.
Fiona has studied Psychology, Film Studies, Theology and Health & Social Care.
Her biggest passion is reading dark fiction, as well as creating new stories of her own – the creepier the better!
To find out more about Fiona:
Books: Amazon Store