Movie Review: St. Agatha (2018)

February 4, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

It’s 1957, so the fact that Mary (Sabrina Kern) is unwed and pregnant (not to mention other secrets of her tawdry past) goes over like a fart in a submarine with society at large…leading to our heroine seeking refuge in a convent that takes in women finding themselves in such dire straits. Speaking of that convent; that structure is a Gothic abode that would give ol’ Edgar Allan Poe a solid case of gooseflesh…but as sinister a structure as that is, the woman lording over it, Mother Superior (Carolyn Hennesy) is terror on two legs that tolerates zero disobedience…and if she encounters it her punishment is swift and unbelievably brutal (think extreme bodily harm and vomit consumption). Will Mary be able to survive her stay within those wicked walls?

Genre legend Darren Lynn Bousman (along with writers Andy Demetrio, Shaun Fletcher, Sara Sometti Michaels, and
Clint Sears) have really outdid themselves with St. Agatha. From the poster image, and basic description you would think this flick would be some sort of half-assed possession flick, or at least a “spawn-of-Satan” comes alive after five joint, but man you’d be wrong as balls! Rather than those tried and true tropes, we instead get a tale of outrageously sadistic nuns and the literal hell they can raise on unfortunate souls within their clutches…stripping them of their identity until they become subservient to their rather creepy cause.

Adding to the effectiveness of this tortuous tale is the rock solid performances from Kern and Hennesy as Mary and her nemesis. Kern makes for a sympathetic lead, and is able to convey her terror and emotions with equal skill…and Hennesy…let’s just say she is absolutely terrifying and that is all you can ask from a fright flick antagonist! In addition to the acting, the use of the now genre standard orange and blue hues is utilized here better than I’ve seen in a damn sight with both hot and cool tones conveying unease in equal measure…no calming effect here through color theory boils n’ ghouls!

On the down side, this flick is a slow-burn affair, and at times that burn is a lil’ too slow making the pace suffer some lead-ass here and there. It definitely isn’t enough to lessen the overall impact of the picture…but some trims here and there would have been much appreciated by your’s cruelly!

Equal parts pseudo-Gothic thriller and nunsploitation flick; St. Agatha is a gorgeous, well acted, and extremely brutal fright flick that, despite it’s often uneven pace, manages to be a gory good time sure to please horror hounds with a love of blood and twisted religious iconography in equal measure!



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