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Malachi Martin; an Irish priest who dedicated his life to battling an ancient evil. Malachi Martin; exorcist. Using first-hand interviews, dramatic reconstruction, archival evidence and Martin's own words, this documentary will follow Father Martin's incredible crusade from the 1970s through to his death in 1999. So. Does the Devil exist?

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Hostage to the Devil movie full length review - Warning. Don't attempt to view this without your skeptic's glasses.

I'm a former Catholic who left the Church not long after reaching my teens.

Watching this reminded me why I left, although the film is not really about Catholicism per se but seems to have been meant to capitalize on the current craze for the paranormal ? ghosts, time travelers, ESP, demonology, etc.

The film features Catholic clergy and paranormal investigators as well as a couple of people who profited from its subject, the late, former Jesuit priest and well-known exorcist, Malachi Martin. It also contains some old video clips and audio recordings of Martin as well as of some purported exorcisms (but nothing at all juicy or substantive is offered up in these).

With every word uttered by Martin in the film (surely, he kissed the Blarney Stone), I became more convinced he was just a charming, eloquent con man who preyed on gullible Catholics uncomfortable with changes in the Church and having difficulty aligning their Catholic world view with the rapid advances in science and technology in the last half of the 20th century.

Besides, there's always been a large measure of show business in Catholic rites and rituals. After all it was the only entertainment available for the impoverished masses throughout most of European history. As its ultimate carnival act, exorcism had it all -- the terror of the pit, the horrors of possession, and the thrill and exaltation of salvation. Hollywood didn't invent but merely regurgitated a tried and true horror formula that was around for centuries.

Anyway, Malachi Martin surely was no saint, as some in the film seem to believe, but only a carny barker who was good at getting people into his tent.