Movie Review: Nefarious (2023)

Synopsis: After his colleague commits suicide, psychiatrist Dr. James Martin is assigned to perform a final psychological evaluation of convicted killer, Edward Wayne Brady to confirm he is of sound mind and can be executed at 11 p.m. that night. Brady claims to be possessed by a demon, Nefarious, leading Martin to believe the killer might have dissociative identity disorder with the demon being one of his personalities. However, as the interview progresses, the atheist psychiatrist isn't so sure the demon isn't real. Even more unnerving is Nefarious claims Martin will be responsible for three murders by the time he leaves the prison.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Jordan Belfi and Tom Ohmer.

Review: I came across this and another film on Amazon Prime that looked interesting and wound up picking this one last night. I wasn't sure what to expect from the movie, so I started watching it with no expectations. By the time it was done, I could honestly say I didn't hate it, but it also wasn't among my favorites.

The premise was an interesting one. The thought of a serial killer only becoming one because of a demon controlling his actions was intriguing. Plus, since Martin's (Belfi) DID diagnosis didn't seem unrealistic, there was still a bit of a mystery about how much of Nefarious (Flanery) was real. This remained the case even after Nefarious seemed to know every intimate detail of Martin's life, something that could have been supernatural but also could have just been the work of a master manipulator.

I did think the whole three murders thing was a bit of a cheat on the demon's part. Martin had already committed one, at least by Nefarious' definition, and the other one was open for debate. However, it did add another level of intrigue as his prediction came true.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is a film that is essentially two men having a very long conversation can only get you so far before it starts to feel a little redundant and a bit dull. I did my best but admittedly zoned out at times as a result.

However, I think my biggest problem is I think the movie missed a better plot. The whole Nefarious/Edward Wayne Brady storyline seemed like it would have been much more interesting if told from that perspective, an ordinary man being tortured by the demon who possesses him and forces him to kill people. The plot would have been basically the same, only with a lot more action, and you could have still had the interview with Martin as a way of telling the story through flashbacks. But that's just my opinion.

Final Opinion: It's an OK movie but make sure you are able to sit through long conversations without falling asleep and don't watch this expecting a whole lot of action.

My Grade: B-


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