The “Nefarious” movie has critics and audiences at odds with one another, but why?

Nefarious is a new movie that certainly seems to have people talking. With a plot based on the premise of demonic possession the movie revolves around the conversations of a serial killer on death row and the psychiatrist who attempts to evaluate the man. 


Serial killer Edward Wayne Brady, played by Sean Patrick Flanery, has spent 11 years waiting for his execution, but unbeknownst to those around him he’s possessed by a demonic entity called Nefarious. 

On the eve of Brady’s execution psychiatrist James is tasked with proving that Brady is not insane and therefore can be executed as fully culpable for his heinous crimes. 

During the evaluations Nefarious, through Brady, reveals his true nature along with a demonic plot to destroy the United States through the introduction of liberal value systems, much like those of the current era. 

Unlike many films which deal with the demonic and fall short of approval from representatives of the Catholic Church, Nefarious has received an endorsement from Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. 

Cardinal Burke says that, “Beyond the real, but often sensationalised, preternatural phenomena associated with demonic activity, lies the greater horror of sin itself and of a power and malign will and intelligence enticing men and women into sin.” 

Burke praised the film saying it “shines a light on this conflict and the devil’s tactics in leading us to betray and abandon Our Lord through sin,”

Despite the praises of the Cardinal,  critics rating of the film are a measly 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Audiences however seem to love the movie judging from its 96% approval rating and 92% google rating. 

Disparity between critic and audience ratings is not unique to Nefarious, but sometimes in the opposite direction. 

2016 film Ghostbusters – where the original male cast were replaced by a female ensemble – received a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes while its audience rating was only 49%. 

The recent Amazon venture The Rings of Power, which had many Tolkien fans up in arms, only managed to retain 37% of its debut audience ratings despite being the most expensive production in Amazon history. 

Critics gave the show a generous 83% rating while viewers only gave 38% overall. 

This writer previously penned a piece laying out some initial grievances with the show, and going so far as to call it an abomination .It seems like armies of Tolkien fans shared those sentiments. 

Those who are interested in psychological thrillers might give this one a try and see where to throw your tomatoes, Nefarious is sure to send a chill down your spine.  

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