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Save yourself from prophet of doom; Religious horror adds nothing new The Unholy DVD....

Byline: IAN BUNTING LOOKS AT THE SHOWS AND MOVIES YOU CAN CATCH IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME THE WATCHLIST

As a fan of James Herbert's books, I was excited to discover Evan Spiliotopoulos decided to adapt one of the late Londoner's novels for his directorial debut. Unfortunately, the finished product amounts to nothing more than a seenit-all-before stab at religious horror.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Gerry) heads up the cast as a disgraced former journalist who stumbles upon the potential story of a lifetime when hearing-impaired teenager Alice (Cricket Brown) claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak, and heal the sick.

If you've sat through the likes of The Reaping and The Vatican Tapes - and it looks like Spiliotopoulos has - then you'll know exactly what to expect here. Any attempts at formidable frights just see the helmer turn up the volume with LOUD jump scares, the CGI is often criminally poor and the main antagonist evokes very little menace.

The Unholy is saved from being a total loss, though, by Morgan and Brown - the latter in particular.

Morgan takes time out from his efforts at redemption in The Walking Dead to serve up a very similar story arc and performance.

Brown, in only her second feature length outing, convinces during every step of her transformative journey; initially timid, she's then overjoyed to be "chosen" and gets swept up in her role as a spokeswoman for "Mary".

William Sadler (Father Hagan) does good work too as a priest out to protect Alice, but the less said about Cary Elwes' (Bishop Gyles) erratic accent the better and Diogo Morgado's sceptical Delgarde didn't really need to be in the movie. Despite the earlier flaws, I was really hoping for an all hell breaks loose finale, which Spiliotopoulos seems to be setting up.

But sadly while there is a bit of chaos and firm and brimstone, the climax doesn't sizzle like it could or should have - or make up for what has come before.

Lazily shot and written, The Unholy adds nothing new to the religious horror genre. If you're after a truly great story about a questionable prophet, check out Saint Maud instead.

?Do you have any favourite religiousthemed horror movies?

Pop me an email at ian.bunting@reachplc.com and I will pass on your comments - and any movie or TV show recommendations you have - to your fellow readers.

CAPTION(S):

Healing powers Cricket Brown plays Alice

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:IAN BUNTING LOOKS AT THE SHOWS AND MOVIES YOU CAN CATCH IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME THE WATCHLIST
Publication:Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)
Date:Sep 1, 2021
Words:408
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