Sunday, October 15, 2017

Film Review: The Crucifixion (2017)

The Crucifixion (Review)
United Kingdom/Romania/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"If you like your horror movies with slick visuals, ominous atmosphere, and some suspense... then this is for you."

After the death of a nun leads to the arrest of a priest, Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson), a reporter, heads out to find the truth...

The Crucifixion is a familiar possession film. The plot follows Nicole Rawlins, a reporter who seeks every opportunity to criticize religion due to her past troubles. After hearing news about the death of a nun and the subsequent arrest of a priest, Nicole convinces her editor to allow her to visit Romania to investigate the crime. She discovers that the nun was possibly possessed and, during an exorcism, she was crucified. (Not the bloody kind.) The deeper she digs, the more grisly details she discovers. She pieces together the victim's life before the exorcism and she soon finds herself questioning herself. The plot reminded me of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but with fewer details regarding the legality of the situation. It leads to a predictable but decent ending.

The Crucifixion is a by-the-books possession film. If you're a fan of horror movies, you've likely seen a similar film: an arrogant, know-it-all reporter sets out to prove something is bogus but said person ends up believing everything as she is attacked by the inexplicable. Still, the plot works. It's short, it's simple, and it's fairly effective. I wish there was a little more character development, though, especially for Nicole. (She can also be a bit on the annoying side, like most reporters in movies.) This is more of a horror-drama hybrid, so don't expect a jump-scare gallery like Insidious. There are some solid jump-scares here, though. In terms of horror, most of the film is reliant on its eerie atmosphere and suspense. There are some creepy/disturbing visuals, too. I suppose the biggest issue for this film is that it doesn't break any new ground. It is disappointing, but it doesn't actually make this a bad film.

Okay, there is another minor issue: Sophie Cookson's performance. Cookson is decent throughout most of the film, but there are several scenes where her delivery is stiff and unnatural. She sounds like she's reading a script, she doesn't sound like a real person. The supporting cast was strong, though. The film was beautifully shot, I loved the cinematography. The music was also good, although underutilized. The film was written by Chad Hayes and Chris Hayes while Xavier Gens served as director. As I already stated, the plot is very familiar. Chad and Chris took a very safe route for this film, which is disappointing. However, aside from a lack of character development, they didn't really write a bad film, either. Gens' direction was strong. He clearly had a strong vision and he has a great eye for spooky/melancholic visuals.

Overall, The Crucifixion is a very good movie. It's not a breath of fresh air for the possession subgenre, but it is a very well-made horror-drama movie. If you like your horror movies with slick visuals, ominous atmosphere, and some suspense, instead of jump-scare extravaganzas, then this is for you.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, some sex.

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