An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.
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Much of what is great in Soavi's films can also be found in Argento's (which is not to knock how successful he is at it), but in La Chiesa there is an embrace of decay that is purely its own. The use of Glass' music in the Knights Templar and self-surgery scenes elevate madness to transcendence. The set-up is derivative but once he lets the narrative slip into dream-logic the imagery gets close to La Setta.
Incredibly entertaining over the top Euro-horror. It definitely has its cheesy moments, but it always manages to be compelling and original with a number of inspired gruesome set pieces right up to its explosive climax. A must for horror fans.
Honestly, THE CHURCH is really a frightening movie. That satanic element is disturbing and awesome at the same time. I don't know - but this movie reminds me a lot to John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness in a way. But THE CHURCH succeed to have its own charms. Somehow, I think THE CHURCH has a pacing problem. I felt this movie is kinda boring or dragging at the beginning. I just wish the climatic scene is more epic...
Probably one of the most entertaining films I have ever watched. Absolutely love Soavi's work, there's just nothing like it! Style over substance is the best way to describe it. Fascinating plot, wonderful soundtrack, above-average acting, terrific special effects, and lots of surrealistic yet incredibly phantasmagorical visuals.
The whole thing looked promising but it mostly failed. Rather similar to other cheesy-gore movies from the 80s, notably from Lamberto Bava, Ruggero Deodato....however the film contains a few memorable / cult moments and a nice photography. The escalation of the supernatural is just too much to be taken seriously here.