The Church

1989

Horror

154
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 6,949

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Asia Argento as Lotte
Hugh Quarshie as Father Gus
John Richardson as Architect
Tomas Arana as Evan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
936.13 MB
1280*720
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
102 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.7 GB
1920×1080
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
102 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jluis1984 7 / 10 / 10

Remarkable atmospheric horror...

Director Michele Soavi gained worldwide recognition with his 1994 masterpiece "Dellamorte Dellamore"; however, he had been mastering his craft under the guidance of horror master Dario Argento for years before that hit. "La Chiesa" was his second feature length effort as director and he displays his craft with a visually stunning Gothic movie about possessions on the vein of Lamberto Bava's "Demoni" (In fact, it was conceived as the series third chapter), but with Soavi's visual style all over it. "La Chiesa" or "The Church", is a tale of an unholy supernatural evil contained under a Gothic Cathedral. Centuries ago, a group of Templar Knights brutally killed a town accused of being devil-worshipers; in order to keep the evil down they built a cathedral and sealed it. Now, in the present, a greedy librarian named Evan (Tomas Arana) breaks the seal and frees the forces of evil. The Church starts a self-protection devise that serves to trap the evil, but it also traps a lot of innocent people who become the target of the demons who begin to posses them. The movie is a visual Tour-De-Force where Soavi experiments with his outstanding camera-work creating haunting atmospheres of supernatural beauty. Complete with a terrific score with music not only by horror veterans Goblin but also by Prog rock virtuoso Keith Emerson and the remarkable composer Philip Glass. Their music works perfectly with the movie and completes the wonderful composition that Soavi creates. The Gothic Church is a character itself and Soavi gives it life and uses the location with great skill. The lighting and special effects are used with great care in order to increase the Gothic atmosphere of the film. Despite this, the story is a bit weak and the surrealist scenes Soavi intends to use to increase the atmosphere actually decrease the coherence of his plot, making it to drag a bit with scenes that seem to serve no purpose. This sadly becomes a major flaw in an otherwise flawless film. The acting is very good, although the English dubbing is kind of average. Tom Arana and Hugh Quarshie are very good in the lead roles, and Barbara Cupisti makes a great romantic interest. However, two members of the cast remarkably steal the show. Feodor Chaliapin Jr. gives a great interpretation as the head Bishop of the Church, giving a haunting performance as an old man with many secrets. The true star is young Asia Argento as Lotte, the teenage daughter of the sacristan who prefers to be at discos than working at the church. Her character may be small, but she shows her great talent and certainly shows why is she now the great actress she is today. As written above, the strangely constructed plot is a major turn off, as the last third of the film becomes very strange and a bit disappointing considering that the previous two thirds are a terrific haunting film. Still, Michele Soavi's technique is always perfect and his visual perfection is never disappointing. It is no wonder why with a better script he crafted a masterpiece with "Dellamorte Dellamore". "La Chiesa" may not be a perfect film, but it is a very good experience and a good introduction to modern Euro-horror. It is a shame that Soavi has decided to stay on TV films because his stylish art seems to have no limits when correctly developed. Fans of Italian horror will be pleased with "The Church". 7/10

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 8 / 10 / 10

The Cathedral of Demons

In the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar invade a supposed coven of witches and they slaughter the community. The dig an unholy collective grave, bury the bodies and build a church on the top of the corpses. On the present days, the ambitious librarian Evan (Tomas Arana) is hired to organize the books of the church. He meets the archaeologist Lisa (Barbara Cupisti) that is researching the catacombs of the church and he accidentally unleashes and is possessed by an ancient demon. Sooner several visitors are trapped inside the church and possessed by demons. Father Gus (Hugh Quarshie) and the teenager Lotte (Asia Argento) are the only persons that are not possessed, and Father Gus discovers a secret in the construction of the church that might be the last chance to save mankind. "La Chiesa" is a great Gothic horror film with story of Dario Argento and his daughter Asia Argento in an important role. The plot is a prequel to Demons 1 and 2, and I saw this film for the first time on 17 February 2012 and today I have decided to watch it again. Unfortunately this film has not been released on DVD or Blu-Ray in Brazil and the image of the VHS awfully dubbed in English is poor and does not highlight the magnificent cinematography or the creepy special effects. The soundtrack has the music of Keith Emerson, Goblin and Philip Glass and completes this great film of demons. My vote is seven. Title (Brazil): "A Catedral" ("The Cathedral") Note: On 22 Jn 2017, I saw this film again on DVD, unfortunately dubbed in English.

Reviewed by Bogey Man 8 / 10 / 10

Masterfully devilish chiesa

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.

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