Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Movie Review – Horror on Tubi

Horror, Crime | 91 Min
Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review
  • Director: Nick Kozakis
  • Actors: Georgia Eyers, Dan Ewing, Tim Pocock, Rosie Traynor, Eliza Matengu
  • Writers: Alexander Angliss-Wilson
  • Producers: Lauren Simpson, Timothy Whiting, Tony Coombs
  • Country: Australia
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Upsetting Scenes, Violence To Children, Religious Violence, Explicit Male And Female Nudity, Language
  • Horror, Crime | 91 Min

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism follows the story of Lara and her husband Ron. After losing her young child in tragic circumstances. Lara has been dealing with what appears to be Schizoaffective disorder. She has been suffering bouts of mania and experiencing paranoid delusions. Wanting to further engage with medical treatment. Lara is discouraged by her husband who believes her symptoms are something altogether more unholy. Something that will require a radical and dangerous solution.

Welcome to Knockout Horror and to another addition to our Horror on Tubi feature. Today we will be reviewing the hybrid religious horror crime movie Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism. A movie that appears to be quite new and advertises itself as a Tubi Original. 

This movies comes to us from the land down under so you know that it will be one of a few things. Witty and hilarious or utterly grim and horrendously depressing. Spoiler alert: It is the latter. Let’s go!

Horror on Tubi

This movie is part of our Horror On Tubi feature. For those of you that don’t know, which will be most of you. For the month of June we have been reviewing the lowest of the low budget on the free streaming service Tubi. Just to make it clear, we aren’t sponsored by Tubi. I just wanted to put together a feature and this seemed like fun. The way it works is pretty simple. I fire up Tubi on my TV. I flick through a few titles and pick the one with the worst name and the lamest cover. 

We aren’t reading reviews and we aren’t interested in people’s opinions. We are simply reaching into the toilet bowl with a gloved hand and seeing what we pull out. So far, the results have been what you might expect. With predictably soggy affairs like Chest, Something Walks in the Woods and The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Home.

But Something Unexpected Happened

Despite how bad these movies are. Something that I really didn’t expect to happen has happened. I actually enjoyed a couple of the movies. Like, for real! ReSet is a low budget yet genuinely watchable, Happy Death Day lite, time loop horror. Death of a Vlogger is an innovative found footage mockumentary. And Lexi features an impressive performance from a talented actor/director and an interesting story. What’s going on?

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

I’m genuinely shook. Well, I should have prepared for further shaking. Because today’s movie actually earned the “Featured” tag. A tag reserved for the movies I recommend the most. What the hell is going on?

I followed the rules. The movie’s synopsis sounds like another run of the mill possession horror. The title is terrible. Feeling very reminiscent of some of the worst horror movies I have watched over the years. And the less said about the cover image the better. But my assumptions were wrong. Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism is, actually, a really good movie and an easy recommend. Well done Tubi!

Possession Horror With a Sickening Twist

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism follows the story of Lara and her husband Ron. After losing her young child in tragic circumstances. Lara has been dealing with, what appears to be, Schizoaffective disorder. She has been suffering bouts of mania and experiencing paranoid delusions. Wanting to further engage with medical treatment. Lara is discouraged by her husband who believes her symptoms are something altogether more unholy. Something that will require a radical and dangerous solution.

Godless is based on the tragic case of Victoria woman Joan Vollmer. Not to be confused with the American Joan Vollmer. Who was, unfortunately, killed by her husband when he drunkenly attempted to shoot an apple off of her head.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

In this case, Vollmer’s husband became convinced that his wife was possessed. Her dancing, bad language and somewhat bizarre behaviour. Apparently being the result of infestation by 10 demons. I suggest not reading about the case if you wish to avoid spoilers regarding this movie. Once the movie has wrapped up, however, you should definitely take a look into it. It makes for upsetting reading.

Godless is Based on a True Story

Suffice to say, Godless plays out as if it is a true story. Complete with opening and closing statements regarding the characters themselves. While Godless is not, strictly speaking, a true story. The events here are very much grounded in reality. Playing out as a modern day version of the Vollmer case. Complete with many of the horrifying details and the toe curlingly horrific conclusion itself.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

Godless can be a tough watch. It is uncompromising and goes out of its way to reflect the seriousness of the situation. A situation that should, very much, be in the minds of people even now. This is something that still happens throughout the world to this day. This is less entertainment and more education. Brutal but necessary. Godless is a movie that leaves an indelible impression. It will stay with you afterwards. Haunting you for the sickening reality of its tale.

Less Horror, More Horrifying 

While the majority of Possession horror movies, and movies featuring exorcism, trend towards fantasy horror. Godless does not, keeping its feet planted firmly on the ground. This means that fans of horror may find the movie a little lacking. If you are expecting an outback version of The Exorcist. You will likely be disappointed. That’s not at all what this movie is going for. Godless is far closer to Australian crime horror like Snowtown and Hounds of Love.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything for fans of horror to grab onto here. The events that play out are truly disturbing. Daniel makes for a maniacal and unsettling antagonist. All the more sinister for his righteous and holier than thou attitude. Its difficult to not feel unnerved when the movie reveals its true path. The troubling way the people involved react only adds to the terror. Godless is lacking in horror thrills. But it is far from lacking when it comes to the horrifying reality of the situation. 

Uncompromising and Affecting

Godless really pulls no punches when it comes to its depiction of the events at hand. From the opening scenes of Lara dancing naked in the garden. Right through to Lara’s memories of the traumatic moments leading up to her baby’s death. Its pretty clear that director does not intend to sugar coat a single facet of this story. Some of the imagery is shocking and likely to upset certain viewers. It all feels very necessary, though. Almost as if it is crucial to the plot. Even if it is not pleasant to see.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

Kozakis does an impressive job of taking us into the mind of Lara. Illustrating the turmoil she is going through. As well as her frustrations at the reactions of the people around her. I am rather impressed at the writing here, as well. References to psychiatric disorders and medications are accurate. Reflecting some genuine knowledge or research into the subject itself. This is a movie that feels very close to the brilliant Saint Maud when it comes to mental illness. Conveying the difficulties and misunderstandings that come along with these disorders well.

A Few Issues

There are a few minor issues here and there but nothing that detracts too greatly from the movie itself. Continuity can be a bit messy. The timeline jumps around a little with no indication. A note at the bottom of the screen would have been welcome for people with concentration issues. Oddly enough, the final part of the movie does feature a reference note to the day events are taking place. Something that feels a bit odd given the fact that it was omitted previously.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

A side story with a psychiatrist and a police officer feels a bit tacked on. Serving as little more than a way to tie things up at the end. There’s a bit of overacting from some of the religious congregation. Making things feel a bit hammy in parts. The sound production is some of the most annoying I have ever heard, as well. Almost whisper like voices suddenly give way to booming music and sound effects. It makes for a genuinely horrible watch at times. Something the movie definitely deserves criticism for. If you are watching this late at night in a packed house. Wear some headphones; your neighbours and family will thank you.

I wasn’t overly enamoured with the way Godless sometimes leans into elements of possession. Occasionally drifting away from reality and muddying the waters on whether or not Lara’s husband’s motivation were just. There is no real room for ambiguity here. Although schizophrenic episodes have been the cause of many “possession” accusations in the past. I am fairly sure it doesn’t occur in quite the way it is depicted here. Schizophrenic episodes are drawn out. Not two minute outbursts in the back of cars.

Really Well Filmed

This is a decent looking movie. Although there are hints here and there that the budget might not have been too high. Kozakis sets his shots up well. Making brilliant use of space and doing a great job of taking us into the psyche of Lara. Slow motion sequences are used well to convey emotion and drama. With Lara dancing naked in the garden, deep in the midst of a manic episode, standing out for how effective it is.

The excellent use of lighting and shadows stands out for its balance. Creating some memorable and haunting night-time shots. As well as some shots where you can almost feel the heat from the punishing Australian sun. This is a gorgeous movie.

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

Direction is great for the most part. A few scenes, here and there, seem a little unnecessary. Added in mainly to shock more than anything. Some of the continuity can feel a little off, as well. Pacing is, generally, great and there is very little in the way of wasted film. Runtime is great although the ending can feel a little underwhelming. Its important to note that this is very deliberate given the source.

Generally Great Acting

Acting is, generally, great throughout. Special mention has to go to Georgia Eyers as Lara. She does a tremendous job. Managing to convey a range of emotion through simple means. Taking us deep into the world of the character’s struggle in an entirely believable way. It’s also worth me pointing out. Eyers is one of the only actors who actually manages to capture that psychotropic medication look. The very specific heavy eyes you get when you start taking Mood Stabilisers and Anti-psychotics. Nice work!

Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism (2023) Horror Review

Tim Pocock stands out for just how well he portrays the sinister Daniel. His character can feel a little bit like a comic book villain at times. But Pocock does a great job of seeming utterly sinister and generally unsettling. The rest of the cast is rather unremarkable. Dan Ewing is fine as Lara’s husband. Despite how annoying his character is. I would have liked to have seen more of Eliza Matengu as Dr. Walsh. Her role is intriguing but rather small. Everyone else does an okay job in rather limited roles.

Final Thoughts and Score

I was not expecting this at all. I mean, let’s be real. This is a Tubi Original with a terrible name and a bad cover. I was preparing myself for crappy looking CG demons. Green tinted women floating above beds and heads spinning wildly. What I actually got was a fantastic crime based horror movie that made me think. Unsettling, haunting and genuinely affecting. Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism is a movie that will stay with you.

If you are expecting a traditional Possession Horror Movie. You may be a little disappointed. Godless is actually a story of the cruelty of man. Reflecting the struggles of women and children all over the world. Who are unfortunate enough to suffer mental illness in communities where religion stretches to cultism. With a standout performance from Georgia Eyers and some brilliant direction. Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism is an easy recommend. Another brilliant horror from one of the absolute best horror producing countries on earth – Australia. Check it out on Tubi right now.

Support Us: