MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,554 this week

The Church (1989)
"La chiesa" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  10 March 1989 (Italy)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,724 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 48 critic

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), 6 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 18 Oct 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 30 Jun 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 18 Dec 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 14 Jan 2014
 
a list of 38 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Church" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Church (1989)

The Church (1989) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Church.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of auditioned stage actors rehearse for an upcoming musical production. While locking themselves in the theater for rehearsal, not knowing that an escaped psychopath 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 5.9/10 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
Demons (1985)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of people are trapped in a large movie theater in West Berlin that is infected by ravenous demons who proceed to kill and posses the humans one-by-one, thereby multiplying their numbers.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny
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
Opera (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Giorgio Pellegrini, a former left-wing activist turned terrorist has fled to Central America and fought with a guerrilla movement. Fifteen years later he is fed up with living in the jungle... See full summary »

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: Alessio Boni, Michele Placido, Isabella Ferrari
Inferno (1980)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi
Trauma (1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man tries to help a teenage European girl whom escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie
The Wax Mask (1997)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Stivaletti
Stars: Robert Hossein, Romina Mondello, Riccardo Serventi Longhi
The Church (2015)
Horror | Thriller

After agreeing to sell the church to make way for a new development, the church board and the development team are met with supernatural disapproval.

Director: Dom Frank
Stars: Clint Howard, Bill Moseley, Ashley C. Williams
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An Italian family is fractured after World War II ends.

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: Michele Placido, Barbora Bobulova, Alessandro Preziosi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Father Gus
...
Evan
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ...
The Bishop (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Barbara Cupisti ...
Lisa
Antonella Vitale ...
Bridal Model
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ...
Reverend
...
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 image of the biker's naked girl friend hugging a winged snake-man is taken directly from a famous Boris Vallejo painting. 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

Bridal Model: Why isn't anybody doing anything to get me out of here?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Civil Wars
Written by Philip Glass
Performed by "The Goblins"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Masterfully devilish chiesa
7 April 2003 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Michele Soavi (born in 1957 in Italy) began as an assistant director for Dario Argento and the late exploitation king Aristide Massacessi before finally having the opportunity, by Aristide, to direct his first feature film, Deliria aka Stage Fright in 1987. That film was a great example of his talents and it remains as one of the most suspenseful and inventive of the later day giallo related horror mysteries to come out from Italy. He also directed the atmospheric La Setta aka The Sect in 1991 and Dellamorte Dellamore in 1994, neither of these being as wonderful as his second film, La Chiesa aka The Church from 1989, co-written by him with Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini.

The film opens with a slaughter of some sixteenth century village and its people as they're suspected of devil worshipping and other unacceptable anti-religious things and so they get brutally killed and left dying, buried alive. A huge cross was left on them to make it impossible for the demons to rise again and also a church was built on the corpses. In present day, the huge cathedral is still there and serves very fine and safely until someone goes a little too far and plays with things that should have been left alone, resting in peace. Soon the spirits rise and devilish goings-on begin for the unhappy people who get trapped inside the huge church. But what really matters in this film is the talent of Soavi and his wonderful visual style and details to tell the story.

The cinematography is always interesting in Soavi's films and La Chiesa, too, is full of wild camera drives and smooth movements as well as menacing angles to tell about the forthcoming terror. The details I mentioned are, for example, those black statues that inhabit the church, some of which can also be very alive! Stage Fright has a very creepy usage of equally "dead alive" dolls that are captured on film with great power proving how Soavi can nail his audience to the seat with such simple images and things. Especially in La Chiesa in which we never even get to see the statues' dark faces..All the more ominous and wonderful.

The various monsters and devils that rise from the beyond are also convincing and maybe because of they're not shown too much or for too long. They won't look unintentionally funny and laughable but pretty effective especially at the very end. The effects and bursts of infernal gore are pretty graphic but in a very aesthetic way, never becoming too gross or revolting in this fairy tale they're present. The effects are by Sergio Stivaletti who has done effects for many Italian films like Lamberto Bava's Demoni (1985) and Dario Argento's La Sindrome di Stendhal (1996). The film gets also a little surreal at times which is of course great, and among the most memorable parts are the scenes depicting the abyss under the church..as nothing like it is supposed to be there and it all is just too living, again visualised with great usage of camera.

The incredible Italian rock band Goblin has made many immortal soundtracks for Argento and their (Keith Emerson) music in La Chiesa is equally hypnotic variation of the conventional church organs with the usual Goblin elements like repeated lines that are very effective and make the viewing experience again very intense. This must be among the greatest things Italy has given to the world of (movie) composers, alongside such other masters like Riz Ortolani (Cannibal Holocaust), Ennio Morricone (Leone, Il Grance Silenzio plus so many others), Fabio Frizzi (the Fulci composer) and so on. But for the horror genre alone, Goblins are probably the most powerful masters.

Few flaws in the film can be found in the last third that is more tired than the wonderful first hour that preceded it. They just try to explain too much something that wouldn't need or wouldn't even be too possible to be explained and that is very frustrating as it doesn't give anything to the suspense and terror atmosphere that has been created, only effectively tries to weaken it as the viewer starts to feel uncomfortable and also bored. Surreal and supernatural goings-on don't always have to be explained in cinema, let the images explain alone. Also some of the dialogue is a little exaggerated but that may be only in the English dubbing as the film has been widely distributed with the dubbing. There's also some bad and confusing editing especially near the end when things start turn more dramatic but other than these, La Chiesa is another horror masterpiece by Soavi, who has so far made only few horror films (plus a very interesting Argento documentary Dario Argento's World of Horror, in 1985) but who has also proved great talents and ideas to make the already wonderful Italian horror cinema genre even more masterful.

La Chiesa is 8/10 and a very noteworthy example of Italian gothic horror cinema with beautiful settings and locations and equally stunning usage of camera, fantasy and sonic elements.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Prince of Darkness - anybody??? malfunction-1
Anchor Bay version the full uncut? bryntilly
Demons 3??? rolykeates
MASSIVE PLOT HOLE? WolfGifford
'Floe' by Martin Goldray Diamond_Dan
Which church is it? Silent_Abstraction
Discuss The Church (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?