The Church (1989) ***

Of the four narrative horror feature films that Michele Soavi directed in his prime (1987–1994), The Church (1989) is my least favorite though it's far from a failure. 

Soavi's trademark surrealistic style is all over The Church and it's easy to spot that his mentor Dario Argento co-wrote and produced the film. The beautiful, atmospheric production design and practical effects/makeup are easy to appreciate and the synthesized score by Keith Emerson/Goblin/Philip Glass creates an appropriate environment. 

Unfortunately, the poor dubbing stands out like a sore thumb (a common practice in Italian films of the 70s/80s, though it's particularly distracting in this film), rendering some of the performances as laughable. Overall, it just feels less cohesive than Soavi's other three great horror films.

Recommended for fans of Rosemary's Baby (1968), Demons (1985), and Inferno (1980).


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