I was part of the seemingly small camp of folks that really dug The Nun a few months back. I thought it was aesthetically gorgeous – On tier with the likes of The Mummy (1999), a personal favorite of mine. Visually aside, I dug the concept. I mean, who doesn’t want to get down with some religious horror from time to time? So naturally, I jumped at the chance to review a film entitled THE CONVENT with bells on. Michael Ironside cameo to boot? Sign me the HELL up.
I’m not typically one for period pieces due to the slow burn that typically accompanies them. I have what I call ‘slasher-brain’ – An affliction brought upon by watching too many slasher films as a tater tot. I want kills, lots of ’em, fast and constant. High-brow film fanatics in my life find this tendency in me laughable, denying that I hold any true appreciation of the art of film. Maybe that is true, but I digress.
THE CONVENT reminds me of the literal pinch of horror period pieces I’ve actually consumed, as aforementioned I am very unfamiliar so contrasting it to anything thoroughly is an impossibility for me. Nailing the gothic aesthetic with grace, and a truly believable, impenetrable cast, I had high hopes early on. The story started off simple – An accused witch gets saved by a Reverend Mother of a nearby Convent. Things get really weird at the Convent, typical evil ritualistic stuff, y’all are undoubtedly familiar with the beat of this particular drum by now. Then it took off into what felt like a million different directions, and I found myself lost in the third act. I will give them credit, the ideas they had floating about were solid and I dug ’em thoroughly, however it just ended up feeling like too many loose ends rushing to be tied in the end.
I’m a massive fan of Lucio Fulci, therefore I love me some grisly eye gouging. There is a ton in THE CONVENT, however, I cannot help but feel the experience cheapened by the use of CGI blood, something I strongly believe should be barred from horror indefinitely. Honestly, the poorly executed CGI could be cited as the likely culprit for killing my initial exuberance. Maybe this isn’t a big deal to some, but for me, it took me right out of the immersive atmosphere I had been enjoying dipping my toes in.
I will say that it was extremely violent, which was a nice change of pace from what I’ve grown to expect with this kind of horror flick. And the instances where practical effects were used, I was gleefully cheering at my computer screen. Those moments worked incredibly well for me, I only wish I received more of them.
I can’t say this was a bad movie because it truly wasn’t. I’m aware that I’m a bit of a picky eater, and in this instance, the cons outweighed the pros and I didn’t enjoy what I was consuming. I know there is a definite niche audience for nunsploitation, so if that is your bag definitely give this a whirl – Unfortunately, it just isn’t mine. THE CONVENT arrives in theaters and On Demand May 3, 2019.
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