horror movie update
Last night I succeeded in watching the fourth and last horror movie I rented last week, Michele Soavi's 1989 frightener The Church (La Chiesa). My lovely wife even joined me for what was, I believe, her first-ever Italian horror movie. She found it fairly engrossing and only occasionally repulsive, which is actually not a bad track record at all. Soavi's film is also reasonably coherent for an Italian horror flick, and it features some great performances, and an appearance by a very young Asia Argento, the daughter of Italian horror master (and co-scriptwriter) Dario Argento.
The film begins with the massacre of a Satanist cult by the Knights Templar, who have a Gothic cathedral built over the mass grave to seal the evil within. Flash-forward to modern times, when the church's new librarian opens the seal and lets loose the vengeful spirits of the dead. The church seals itself when the evil is unleashed, trapping priests, tourists, schoolchildren, Asia Argento, and a host of miscellaneous Europeans inside. One of the things I dug about the film is that, while the deaths of several of the aforementioned are explicitly shown, many others are not -- instead, the camera will pan down a row of pews that earlier was filled with the trapped victims, and each time there will be fewer of them...
Here's a full review at Teleport City, a review at Slant magazine, and here's a Web page devoted to Soavi's films.