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.
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 »
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
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.
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