6.2/10
4,884
77 user 64 critic

The Church (1989)

La chiesa (original title)
R | | Horror | 10 March 1989 (Italy)
An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.

Director:

Writers:

(dialogue: English version), (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith, including Saturday's live event.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A spree of grisly murders is perpetrated in Frankfurt by a group of Satan worshippers. A school teacher almost runs over an old man with a box and takes him in. It's no accident that the ... See full summary »

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Mariangela Giordano
StageFright (1987)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of stage actors lock themselves in the theater for a rehearsal of their upcoming musical production, unaware that an escaped psychopath has sneaked into the theater with them.

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Domenico Fiore
Demons 2 (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of tenants and visitors are trapped in a 10-story high-rise apartment building infested with demons who proceed to hunt the dwindling humans down.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
Cemetery Man (1994)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies.

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: Rupert Everett, François Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi
Demons (1985)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of random people are invited to a screening of a mysterious movie, only to find themselves trapped in the theater with ravenous demons.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny
Phenomena (1985)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A New England home is terrorized by a series of murders, unbeknownst to the guests that a gruesome secret is hiding in the basement.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni
Opera (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo
Tenebre (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, John Saxon
Two Evil Eyes (1990)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento.

Directors: Dario Argento, George A. Romero
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel, Ramy Zada
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A killer stalks a composer staying at a posh Tuscany villa while writing the score to a horror film which has an incriminating clue to the killer's identity.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Andrea Occhipinti, Anny Papa, Fabiola Toledo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Father Gus
...
Evan
...
The Bishop (as Feodor Chaliapin)
...
Lisa
Antonella Vitale ...
Bridal Model
...
Reverend
...
Lotte
Roberto Caruso ...
Freddie
Roberto Corbiletto ...
Hermann, the Sacristan
Alina De Simone ...
Lottie's Mother
Olivia Cupisti ...
Mira
Gianfranco De Grassi ...
The Accuser
Claire Hardwick ...
Joanna
Lars Jorgenson ...
Bruno
John Karlsen ...
Heinrich
Edit

Storyline

A church is built during medieval times on top of a pile of dead bodies that were considered possessed. Hundreds of years later a young librarian unleashes the evil within, by removing a rock in the catacombs. Series of events occur meanwhile, everybody just does not seem to be the same. Father Gus is the only one not possessed, he must save the city from becoming a pandemonium, he must find the ancient secret of the church so it can crumble to pieces. Written by Nebiros <nebiros@informador.com.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In this unholy sanctuary you haven't got a prayer ... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

10 March 1989 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Church  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title for its Spain release was El Engendro del diablo, which means "The Spawn of the Devil." See more »

Goofs

When Father Gus, as a recreational archer, is using a bow to shoot at a target, he is not wearing a wrist guard. This is a painful mistake even a beginner would only make once. See more »

Quotes

Father Gus: [after a huge fish like demon is attacking the male model] MY GOD! What's going on here?
See more »

Connections

References Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Go to Hell
(Carola-Rinaldi)--Zooming on the Zooo
Courtesy of Bixio C.e.m.s.a. Greetings Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Say a little prayer.
16 August 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

In the middle ages a group of Knights slaughter a village full of suspected devil worshippers and a large cathedral is built on their burial pit. The church is now being reworked on, and when the seal from the crypt is broken by the new librarian Evan, slowly the occupants become possessed. An ancient mechanism is triggered off and a group of visitors find themselves locked inside with this relentless terror of madness and lust.

If you could ever say style very much over substance, director Michele Sovai's lavish Gothic horror piece "The Church" falls comfortably into that category. Originally it was going to be the third entry of the "Demons" films, But Sovai shaped it into what he wanted. Obviously the familiar groundwork of those films is still presented here, as this time the action takes place in a church where the trapped characters are eventually possessed. However it does take its time before the demented mayhem eventually erupts. Even then the splatter isn't particularly grisly, with more concern on the brooding atmosphere, striking art direction and gorgeously shot set pieces. The pacing might be terribly bumpy, but Renato Tafuri's dramatic flashes with the camera provide the film's main energy. Even the musical score by Keith Emerson and The Goblins stays fairly sombre, but poignantly effective nonetheless. What really lets this one down is the messy and inconsistent writing. Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini and Michele Soavi contributed to the material. Too much of it seems rushed and undeveloped, where the base of it was an inventive reworking that well thought-out, but there's too many loose ends. The script is pretty simple-minded, even with its religious structure, but it's not as compelling as it should be. At least your eyes have something to glaze over as Sovai's slow-grinding and densely detailed approach infuses some visually poetic images with a slowly surreal and claustrophobic feel making its way in. He makes great use of the shadows and lighting within well-etched infrastructure of the ominously sedate, but remarkably succulent looking cathedral. The demon make-up effects are well-exercised and look disturbingly menacing. Performances are hard to judge, because characters do seem to come and go. Tom Arana, Hugh Quarshie and Barbara Cupisti are solid. Also there's a fine turn by Feodor Chaliapin Jr. as the tormented Bishop and a young Asia Argento really does impress with her talented performance.

Accomplished direction, professionally catered production and a polished look help out on the problems facing its flat, confused material. Worth-a-look.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?