5/10 Almost completely run of the mill until the very end, “The Unholy” starts strong before it devolves into a generic, nothing you haven’t seen before, horror movie. The ending is what surprised me but we will save that for later. Released on Good Friday this year feels like some grade A trolling but what’s odd about this movie is that it is aimed at devout religious folks as much as it is at your standard horror film buffs. The beginning was intriguing as I wasn’t sure which direction the movie would take. The opening act does have its clichés (someone appears in the middle of the road suddenly, causing a car crash has been done to death) but the setup for the story was interesting and I liked how the opening flashback scene was filmed. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character doesn’t break the mold but his performance is well done, as was our female lead Alice, played by Cricket Brown (sounds like a name I’d put on a fake ID; random insect with random color). Despite the interesting set up and plot, the movie goes into cliché, horror mode with the jump scares, closing doors, teleporting spirits, etc. that we have all come to know over the years of watching horror movies. Unfortunately, the movie isn’t scary, becomes predictable and goes through the motions in terms of plot and characters. The characters are a bit thin but the point of the movie is never to provide well developed characters to relate to. Despite its mediocrity, this is the first horror movie in recent memory that genuinely has a message for its religious viewers. The movie ends with Matthew 7:15, which says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Most devoutly religious people I know steer clear of horror films (most are just flat out too scared of them) but this whole movie is about the message of Matthew 7:15. In a world where people often put politicians, celebrities, doctors, etc. up on a pedestal and treat them as Gods, it is never a bad thing to be reminded to be vigilant in the face of false prophets who claim to be the answer. So despite most religious people probably skipping this movie for whatever personal reason, I would recommend it to them as a cautionary tale. It is this ending that sets it apart from all other modern horror movies. I just wish the rest of the movie wasn’t so by the numbers that it would have stood out on its own, even without the message. Not a bad movie if you are a horror movie fan and one of the few horror movies I would recommend to religious people with the tolerance for horror, but doesn’t bring much new to the table and fails to inspire in a genre where film makers like Ari Aster and Robert Eggers have upped the horror game.

#UnholyCow / #TheTalkingDead / #AliSinChains / #CelluloidMary / #AliceFadesAway2 / #HellaEnchanted

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