While some flocked to church, we went to the theaters on Easter Sunday to watch a movie about miracles, faith, God, and the Virgin Mary. The Unholy definitely has all the qualities of an Easter movie right? Especially with a plot surrounding a young girl who can perform miracles after communicating with a superior being, which almost sounds like - well, it actually sounds just like- its rival opening weekend film The Girl Who Believes In Miracles but in a more sinister format. Which also leaves us wondering: How many people bought the wrong ticket intended for the other show or vice versa? Hopefully, after reading this review; you will not make that mistake.
Produced by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Sam Raimi, and Robert Tapert, The Unholy is a better than expected supernatural horror flick. Disgraced journalist, Gerry Fenn (portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and The Walking Dead) finds himself on the job in a small farm town, following up a story that does not pan out, so he has to dump it. However, he stumbles onto what may become the story of the century and therefore sticks around for the exclusive scoop, with a professional Sony camera to document miracles performed by a formerly deaf girl, suddenly able to hear and speak, who has caught the attention of the Vatican.
As more people flock to this small town, unimaginable things start happening, leading a select few to test their faith in these miracles. However, Father Hagen (William Sadler) is not convinced because according to him, “When God builds a church, the devil builds a chapel next door.” So will Gerry Fenn run with it and sell his soul for fame and fortune, or will he finally do the right thing and save the townspeople before hell is unleashed?
What we liked about The Unholy is the unpredictable nature of it all. Though we watched the trailer a couple of times, we were still thoroughly surprised by little twists here and there. We also liked the fact that there was an explanation of why there was an evil force, and the explanation was done in an easy-to-comprehend manner. You can just sit back, turn your brain off, and enjoy a horror flick with low expectations. You might end up liking it a lot. We especially appreciated an antagonist of a type seldom used in films. We’ve seen plenty of supernatural horrors with the same type of evil antagonists; you may know exactly what we’re talking about if you are a fan of Blumhouse films. However, The Unholy took a different approach, and we’re glad to see new ideas onscreen. We think you will be, too.
A good supernatural ghost story that exceeded expectations. This was well written with a sophisticated yet simple storyline. Our hope is that this will make other low budget films step up their creativity level.
Written for the screen and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, from the novel Shrine by James Herbert. Rated PG-13. 99 mins. Released April 2, 2021.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan … Gerry Fenn
Cary Elwes … Bishop Gyles
Katie Aselton … Dr. Natalie Gates
William Sadler … Father Hagan
Cricket Brown … Alice