Early in the seventeenth century, a young woman, Persephone, is falsely accused, arrested and put on trial for her life. Her fate seems sealed but for the timely intervention of a stranger, the mysterious Reverend Mother, who offers Persephone not just sanctuary, but hope. For the Reverend Mother is the self-appointed leader of a small religious retreat, a secluded Priory, where she and her fellow Sisters can devote their lives to the Lord and seek atonement for their pasts. But upon her arrival, Persephone is plagued with terrifying visions and soon realizes that it's not Salvation that awaits her, but a battle for her very soul itself.Written by
Paul Hyett & Conal Palmer
At the one hour mark she plunges she knife into her throat and she gushes blood. As she lands on the floor, she is not bleeding and has no gouge in her neck, but rather a nick below her chin. See more »
There is a post credit scene with sister Emeline. See more »
The un-scary possession of nuns
'The Convent' was hardly one of those films that was dead on arrival from the get go or anything. Not one of those films that had few or no interest points or where the idea was bad. Actually thought that the idea was interesting enough, even if it was one where one should know what to expect (not Oscar-winning material, not that kind of film) and the cover looked creepy.
Even when knowing what to expect, 'The Convent' just didn't deliver and doesn't really execute its interesting idea well. Really tried to take it for what it was and what it was trying to be and do, but it was hard to do that when too many elements are done poorly and when not a particularly good job is done scaring or entertaining. Have seen far worse potential wastes recently, films that waste absolutely everything going for it and films failing when they shouldn't have.
Will start with what 'The Convent' does reasonably in. Most of it looks pretty decent and could tell at least what period and such it was set in, it has an unsettling look namely down to the lighting and the costumes and settings, while not lavish, don't at least look shoe-string budget-like. The camera work mostly isn't too gimmicky and is suitably moody. The music is variable in 'The Convent', but when it works it is haunting and doesn't create a discord with the atmosphere.
It did start off quite creepily, not original sure but the creepy atmosphere was there. While like the music the acting was on and off, Claire Higgins and Hannah Arterton were more than respectable throughout.
However, some of the other actors are pretty monotone and don't really bring much to their very limited material. Michael Ironside is generally watchable and has been known to be one of the better things of mediocre or less films (and he has his fair share of those), but did not see the point of him being there. He has very little to do and his appearance is placed so awkwardly, he felt very out of place. Some, not all as said but enough times for it to be a problem, of the music was inappropriate in style and tone and jarred as a result, like it was intended for another film. Occasionally the camera work is not particularly professional but on the visual side it's the slapdash and over-obvious special effects that fare worst.
Found the script to be cheesy, very stilted and like it was barely finished, a re-write and read-through more (if there was any of either in the first place) and that would have made at least a smidgeon of a difference. 'The Convent' started well enough, but as it progressed the duller and sillier it became. Suspense and scares were far too few, and the middle especially drags. The last act didn't really excite or unsettle me and it bordered on silly, while the gore could be used excessively and for no real reason other than the film's way of creating some kind of shock value.
On the whole, nothing offensive about it but not a particularly good effort. 4/10
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