The Church – Michele Soavi’s underrated masterpiece?

While many horror fans will know the name of Michele Soavi for his work with Dario Argento or for Stagefright; but there is much more to this Italian filmmaker than his entry into the slasher sub-genre.

Two years after releasing Stage Fright, Soavi took on a very different kind of feature in the form of The Church.

An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers and traps a number of people inside with ghosts from a twelfth-century massacre, who are seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.

In a nutshell, The Church is in much the same mould as Lamberto Bava’s Demons, with its isolated location horror and some truly bonkers visuals. It’s not every day you will just walk past someone casually getting humped by a demon goat-like creature.

Soavi is such a stylish filmmaker too, with a mix of shots, as he knows when to go full throttle and when to hold back and build tension.

The film also has a stunning and melancholic score from Goblin, well known for their work in Italian horror, in what could arguably be considered one of their finest pieces of work.

While there is a minor lull in the midway, The Church quickly recovers for a truly insane finale that goes completely balls to the wall. It felt like Demons meets John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, given its religious overtones.

Watching this film only made me keener to check out the rest of Soavi’s horror output, including The Sect.

The Church is available now from Shameless Films.

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