The Devil Is Back and He’s Killing Nuns and Priests

As both ardent fundamentalists and horror fans know, you cannot have God without the Devil. However, dedication argues that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two, especially when both the religious and the blasphemous behave in suspicious — if not entirely alarming — ways. It is enough to make one completely abandon religion, especially when it is practiced at the most dangerous cliffside church since. Black Daffodils.

Latest from Black Death director Christopher Smith, dedication (opens February 10 in theaters) follows in the footsteps of so many ghost thrillers before it that it’s surprising it has any tricks up its sleeve. Alas, the few surprises it contains aren’t particularly effective, as early clues only hint at a possible turning point and the proceedings don’t hide it.

More troubling, however, is the utter lack of horror found in this horror attempt, with the main creative ideas being to drown everything in terrifying darkness and/or holy white, upside down. between past and present, and staged a few bloody murders that boast less imagination and even less punch. After that, all that remains is an age-old lesson in Satan’s status as the great deceiver.

Charming (Jena Malone) is an ophthalmologist who does not believe in God and, therefore, in miracles. Luckily for her newest patient, she’s knowledgeable about scientific remedies for serious medical conditions. However, there is no way to save Grace’s brother Michael (Steffan Cennydd), who Grace learns has died in a murder-suicide at the remote Scottish monastery on the Isle of Skye, where he resides. reside as a priest.

Grace couldn’t believe her brother had committed such a heinous crime, let alone a fellow priest, and thus went to this remote area to investigate. Unfortunately for her, Detective Chief Inspector Harris (Thoren Ferguson) confirms that the story she heard is true, and he takes her to visit a closed convent run by Mother Superior (Janet Suzman), a nun. older people who are also fun and friendly operators. the waves of the island.

The Mother Superior said that Michael “falled into darkness”, she meant possessed by a demon, and it was this evil entity that caused Michael to kill the visiting priest. Grace didn’t have any of these, but since the land on which the convent was built is owned by the Vatican, Mother Superior’s word is law.

More troubling for Grace, when she saw Michael’s dead body in the morgue, she was visited by his ghost, who told her it wasn’t safe here. In doing so, he instigates Grace for the first of many flashbacks to their youth, during which they are badly abused by their father (Ian Pirie). As soon as it is explained, Grace was adopted and her upbringing was a nightmare marked by her father locking his children in a cage and killing his wife in a demonic rage. Given that dear old father was also an extremist, it is no surprise that Grace has taken the oath to renounce Christianity.

It turns out Michael made his own way to the macabre ruins of an old 12th-century church, where crusader soldiers known as the Knights of the Morning Star used to store religious artifacts they picked up on their journey. mine. According to Father Romero (Danny Huston), a Vatican priest who was on the scene to help consecrate the monastery, this ancient, untouched place of worship is “a beacon of light in dark times, ” and its stones were even used to build the new chapel of the nuns. Apparently, knights often took a step back from the altar for each sin confessed, and if that was too much, they would fall through a doorway (still standing) and die on the rocks below. — a self-destructive practice that Michael seems to have followed.

Grace believed little of what she was told, but dedication makes her suffer from so many disorienting visions — of both the past and untold events — that it’s almost impossible to consider her a believable protagonist.

The fact that some of these hallucinations involve a masked little girl being captured by crusaders (in the course of interrupting her pagan forest ritual) only reinforces people’s impressions that Grace is worth it. as reliable as a three-dollar bill, and perhaps even more dangerous. Malone essentially acts confused and panicked throughout the entire film, doing little to dispel the impression that her character is a traumatic mess, and worst of all, a evil threat.

As written by Smith and Laurie Cook, dedication avoids traditional suspense sequences, with the exception of one instance of Grace entering a previously locked and guarded door and entering the dark. The director choreographs a select few scenes, including a parade of people in white robes falling backwards in the air to death, and a late scene in which the true nature of evil spirits has haunted Michael is revealed. Still, most of it is suitably dull and cold, and the action unfolds at a bumpy pace, with some of its plot points landing awkwardly and its bombs coming in without setting.

If there is a reason for the conclusion of dedication, it’s Suzman, who wears a pristine colorless outfit and transforms into Mother Superior as an overbearing old woman with a pile of secrets, no secret of which to console. Suzman is such a disturbing presence that she alone gives the documentary a humble chill, as well as helping to compensate for the blandness when Huston transforms into a priest, whose Friendly with Grace is clearly a charade to the point where he comes across as annoyed rather than intimidating.

Then again, Suzman or Huston doesn’t have much to do in this movie, with the highlight being a book filled with Michael’s coded scribbles, a few instances of generations invisible forces that force individuals to injure themselves and the shadows that lurk behind characters in the film. -The bedrooms and hallways are illuminated.

Worse dedicationUltimately, its lack of depth is its lethargy. In terms of its nominal stakes, one would expect much more frenzy and frenzy from this spooky tale-by-way-of-Omen. Instead, it develops into a muted monotone that results in less fear — thus committing the basic horror-cinema sin.

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