Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Vatican Tapes

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Demon-possession horror film is dull, despite shock ending.

Movie PG-13 2015 91 minutes
The Vatican Tapes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+


90 percent of the actors were horrible at acting. The Cardinal, played by Peter Andersson, was great. As well as Djimon Hounsou. Olivia "The Dud" Dudley, was unbelievable, John Patrick Amedori was just as terrible. So, the moral of my review is, don't waste you time on this bad movie. Take a nap instead.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Director Mark Neveldine is known for his loony, kinetic cult movies, but this film, despite its shock ending, can't quite get past the limitations of a genre that peaked with The Exorcist (1973). THE VATICAN TAPES begins with the idea that the Vatican has recorded proof of dozens of possessions, but then settles in on a rather dull example.

Aside from the usual plot mechanics, Neveldine -- working for the first time without his creative partner, Brian Taylor -- throws in a few small, new ideas (like eggs appearing in the victim's mouth), but his usual, enthusiastic style is gone, replaced by a static, grayish approach. The actors appear equally stuck. Poor Dougray Scott, especially, can only repeat the same exasperated lines over and over again, though Pena brings the movie a down-to-earth quality. The ending actually is unexpected, and may win over some horror fans, but the path to get there is sadly worn out.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate