Consecration assessment: Even bloody, gun-toting nuns can’t save this horror film
“The holy horror movie Consecration wastes a very good setup with a complicated and hole climax.”
- An excellent first hour
- Moody environment
- An intriguing efficiency from Jena Malone
- A ridiculous ending that is unnecessary
- Lacks objective and identification
Some motion pictures don’t know the way to begin and take some time to get you hooked. Not so with Consecration, the new horror film from Christopher Smith, which just about actually begins with a bang. The film opens with a younger lady strolling down a avenue on a seemingly peculiar day in London. An aged nun emerges from out of nowhere and approaches her. Cloaked in her white nun’s behavior, the previous girl smiles serenely as she takes out a gun and factors it on the younger lady, who appears to be like as shocked because the viewers is at this sudden flip of occasions.
Not a foul technique to start a film, proper? What drove this nun to this determined, uncharacteristic act? Is she evil? Is the younger lady? For a very good hour into its 90-minute runtime, Consecration holds up as a genuinely intriguing supernatural horror movie that comprises better-than-usual cinematography and route, in addition to a standout efficiency from its lead actress. However as quickly because it has to disclose its central thriller, Consecration stumbles, and also you understand this film is all setup and no payoff. It’s a disgrace, as a result of what got here earlier than it had a lot promise for the film to be higher than what it seems to be.
After that glorious prologue, Consecration flashes again to some months earlier. The younger lady about to be gunned down by that nun is revealed to be Grace (Jena Malone), an eye fixed physician dwelling in London. Her mundane existence is rapidly shattered by the information that her brother, Michael (Steffan Cennydd), a priest in a distant Scottish village, has died. What’s worse is that he killed himself after murdering one other priest. After all, Grace doesn’t imagine her brother would hurt himself, not to mention one other man of the material, so she travels to the parish to research.
As soon as there, she rapidly discovers one thing isn’t fairly proper. The nuns all appear to be carrying a secret that they wish to inform however can’t. The Mom Superior (Janet Suzman) is undoubtedly hiding one thing she has no intention of unveiling. And the pinnacle priest, Father Romero (Danny Houston), is just a bit bit too charming for Grace’s consolation. What actually occurred to her brother?
Grace is aided a bit by a detective (Thoren Ferguson, misplaced in an underwritten position), however she principally goes it alone in determining what he the hell is happening. It helps that her brother left a diary behind, written in code that solely Grace can decipher, which unlocks a number of prolonged flashbacks to the siblings’ abusive non secular upbringing. It’s step by step revealed that Grace herself is extra tied to the convent, and why her brother killed himself, than she wish to imagine, and the film quickly barrels towards a finale that entails quite a few stabbings, damaged bones, and spectral time journey. (Don’t ask.)
Not adequate to be respectable, and never unhealthy sufficient to work
The journey might be simply as gratifying because the vacation spot, and to its credit score, Consecration is a reasonably efficient horror film for its first hour. Its director, Smith, has good sense of building temper, and together with cinematographers Rob Hart and Shaun Mone, makes use of the attractive Scottish surroundings to strike a foreboding temper. He additionally patiently builds up the central thriller of Michael’s loss of life and establishes Grace as an efficient, if considerably unreliable narrator. It’s arduous to conjure up a correct environment that will make all of this holy horror considerably plausible, however Smith pulls it off and, for awhile, Consecration efficiently balances Grace’s grief with otherworldly revelations.
Smith is aided immensely Malone, who grounds Grace with a matter-of-fact sternness that slowly offers technique to a grudging perception in supernatural shenanigans. Ever since her breakout position within the 1996 movie Bastard Out of Carolina, Malone has been one of the crucial persistently dependable actors within the enterprise, by no means failing to make any challenge she’s in (from blockbuster junk like Sucker Punch to arthouse junk like The Neon Demon) just a bit bit extra gratifying. Even when the film rapidly craters on the finish, Malone nonetheless makes you invested in what occurs to Grace.
However man, is that ending a large number. It’s clear that the writers, Smith and Laurie Prepare dinner, didn’t know the way to conclude the film, and even what Grace is meant to signify. Is she a dwelling image of a supernatural deity? Is she a fallen angel who performs “miracles” as an eye fixed physician? Or is she the Satan reborn? The film is structured in such a means that every one three of this stuff might be true, but not sufficient assist is given to make any considered one of them plausible or satisfying.
What you’re left with is a confused climax that wastes all the goodwill that was constructed up in the beginning. Smith clearly is influenced by horror motion pictures of the previous, and it’s not an excessive amount of of a stretch to imagine that Consecration may have joined The Wicker Man and Midsommar as classics within the “remoted neighborhood horror” subgenre.
However the story lets all concerned down by being unfocused and uncertain of what it needs to be. What was initially promised as a deep exploration of the violent nature of religion, or perhaps a high-class copy of The Omen, seems to be a complete lot of hokum. I’m often tremendous with that, nevertheless it must be backed by a confidence in what the film is attempting to do. That’s what’s lacking in Consecration, and that’s a sin even God can’t forgive.
Consecration is presently enjoying in theaters and can be obtainable to stream on Shudder.