Lankester Merrin is a archaeologist by profession but an ordained Roman Catholic priest who has lost his faith and abandoned his vocation. He is haunted by what he was forced to do in his native Holland during World War II. The church he's excavated in Northern Kenyan dates to the Byzantine period but this puts its construction hundreds of years before Christianity was introduced to the area. the church was buried to the rooftop in sand and as its structure is exposed, a madness slowly descends on the camp. the local tribesmen are prepared to go to war and demand that the church be buried. Soon, two British soldiers are found dead and their commanding officer, Major Granville, shoots a innocent civilian in cold blood. As fear descends upon everyone in the camp, it becomes apparent that a young disabled boy, Cheche, is possessed by the devil forcing Merrin to re-examine his own beliefs. Written by
Billy Crawford was called for an audition when a casting staff saw the cover of his album "Ride" where he was portrayed in demonic fashion, wearing a hood with eyes resembling the demon. See more »
In the nighttime village scene where the native woman is giving birth. The hut is lit from the left by an pure white light source, so strong that it shines through the gaps in the straw structure. There are plenty of campfires to light the scene, and certainly no place for a pure white light source that strong in this location. See more »
I am Obersturmfuhrer Ralph Kessel from the S.S., and this is one of my men. We found him in a ditch with a kitchen knife in his back, murdered by one of you. You see the German army retreating, and it makes you feel hope. It should not. So, who is responsible for this?
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At the extreme end of the end credits, after the last production company logo has faded out and the screen is entirely black, a demon voice grumbles "I am perfection". See more »
A metaphysical treatment of the story. Thoughtful and intense. Horror is implied in this film... you don't get beaten over the head with it as did the Harlin film. Schrader has always been a master at atmosphere and story over shocks and thrill rides. This is a thinking man's horror flick. You don't find many of those anymore. Remember the original "Haunting". The horror is left to the imagination. That always makes it much more scary. Remy Harlin's film was over the top, which is what the suits at Morgan Creek wanted. When monetary considerations come before artistic considerations, you usually get schlock. Paul Schrader made no such compromise... which is why he was canned.
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